Your Father is light and live, always faithful to His promises. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, He will allow you to return, running to embrace you. His arms always welcome you. You can't go too far or too fast to escape what He offers. Simply turn around, and it's yours.
You wanted to see the world, and so asked for your inheritance. You got more than you bargained for. They always said pigs were smarter than dogs, and actually preferred to be clean. Both are true.
Your Father has always been kind. Even to pigs. Perhaps He'll take you back. Didn't He always say that you don't have to be perfect for Him, that you don't have to be good? You only need to repent, and He'll take you just as you are.
You need that. You need one person who loves you, no matter what you've done. One person who won't reject you, one person who will look at your whole life -- even the mistakes, especially the mistakes -- and say, "It's all right. I'll still take you."
The pigs didn't watch you go. Someone sees you coming, and rushes to the other side. You both pretend that he doesn't watch your reflection in the store windows, dirt staining your robe in haphazard patches. Shoes crumbling off your feet with each step. Even you can smell your self.
It's a long walk, and easier to travel at night. You're like everyone else, then (except for the smell). Night masks imperfections, and assumptions are given free-reign. The smell, at some point, deters most. Except for the drunks. They're too drenched in their haze, and toss out slurred greetings.
Father always kept a light on from sunset to sunrise. Tonight's no exception. You hover at the fencepost. You should care about your appearance, at least try and clean yourself up. But you're so tired.
He won't reject you. Father doesn't do that. Father keeps His word.
One step. Two.
The front door bursts open. Father flies out. His form intersects the light, and all you see is this blog. Then it slams into you -- it's Father.
His arms cradle you. He's laughing. His child has come home. His child has returned. Why wouldn't this child, when Father leaves the light on?
You slump against Him, releasing those cares. Everything seems like a dream now.
Father asks you a question. You can't hear the words -- you just feel the vibration in his chest. But surely your Father sees that you're too tired to answer ,you're just too overwhelmed that you're home, that you're --
An answer? You gave an answer? How? You didn't even hear the question.
Wait. Why are you pulling --- you want to stare into your Father's eyes? But you weren't ready for that yet, you weren't ready to see --
Your Father's eyes are now mirrors, capturing this shimmering white form. Serene. Peaceful. Untainted. Something you never were, something you never could be.
The form's lips move, still saying those words. Its arms move, and you realize your arms move in time. Father's very happy. He's crying. "My son," He cries. "My son is home. Lost, and now found!"
Found? How am I found? This reflection in my Father's eyes -- how could I be found, when that's not you? Father always knew who you were, always told you ... who is your Father embracing?
Who am I, Father, if You don't see me?
The above italics are probably dramatic, if not overly so. But I'm hoping to explore the potential dark side of seeing Jesus as a sacrifice for sins. Paul says somewhere that it's no longer him that lives, but Christ that lives in him. Other New Testament passages reference being cleansed by Jesus' blood, and I've read on other blogs how Jesus' blood was perfect enough to cover all sins. Other times, I read/hear people pray that the "lost" always see Jesus/God in them.
The blood itself was necessary because God can't look upon sin. So I would see this as logically entailing that God can't look upon any human unless Jesus' blood is first in place.
However, evangelical Christianity also presents God as accepting you, "just as I am." I was involved in a discussion on another blog as to whether that idea is found in the Bible. In that precise wording, no. But the idea I get behind "just as I am" is that it's supposed to contrast Christianity against "work-based" religions. You don't need to try and be good before approaching God, He'll come and meet you no matter where you are (provided you either admit how bad you are, or how much you need God). Hence, "just as I am," entails all the sin was is currently infested with.
I'm not sure these two ideas are compatible. If God requires blood in order to look upon humans, then we aren't accepted just as we are. Especially since under the original sin concept, every iota of us is twisted/tainted with sin. If our parents or spouses tell us that they take us just as we are, the line of thought behind that is that we are accepted in both good and bad parts -- and both parts are acknowledged and seen.
(A possible way around this might be as follows: if going on the Trinitarian concept, then it could be said that God the Son accepts you just as you are, and yet God the Father must have blood in place. However, then you've got the different persons acting in an inconsistent fashion, with one capable of doing something the other can't.)
However, in referencing my parable above -- the Father wasn't accepting the prodigal child. He was accepting another creature in the prodigal's place. When he looked at the child, He saw Someone else. Isn't that how Jesus is used? God must see Jesus' blood in order to look upon you, for if you were actually seen, then you'd get thrown into hell? Can it even be said, then, that God loves you? Or is Jesus loved in your place, and you're just an afterthought?
If a parent only accepted a child after slaughtering a lamb and dumping the blood on top of the child, what would we say about that parent? What would that do to the child?
Does evangelical Christianity truly follow the story of the prodigal son? I'm not sure it does. It says that a sacrifice must be in place, so that one can be welcomed into heaven. In the parable, the son was simply welcomed, as he was. No mediator was necessary.