The prodigal son’s older brother

This morning during Sunday service, the pastor talked about the parable of the prodigal son. He was talking about something completely different, but my mind started to wander. I suddenly really empathize with the older son’s emotions. I can understand why he feels angry and neglected by the father. He was asked to serve at the younger brother’s celebration feast, and he felt upset, neglected. He asked his father, what about me? I’ve always served and obeyed you, I didn’t break your heart by asking for my half of inheritance nor did I squander it all and come home to beg for forgiveness. The father answers that the older brother was always more blessed because all that the Father had was his to enjoy and use. Even though he was questioning at the “feast”, that doesn’t mean that the older brother was being disobedient or stopped loving the father. Obedience does not equal to perfection.

Another thing that was interesting, is that back in the day, older brothers were mediators for their younger brothers. So for example, if the little brother did something wrong and deserved punishment, the older brother would plead for the younger and ask for forgiveness on his behalf. I guess I can kinda see that apply to me. Perhaps I can be the mediator later on for people who struggle through relationships and heartbreaks. Because I know that obeying God and having a God-honoring relationship is actually very very hard. And so when I have friends that are struggling, I can help plead for them, and pray for them, as a mediator. And I can one day help mediate for those who also try to see God even in heartbreaks that don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason. Maybe one day.

Not many people in my church know about this breakup yet. Only some. Today, I have to ride up to New York for a meeting for the retreat I’m teaching at in August. I can no longer stay at my boyfriend’s place over night, so I have to come home tonight. I also no longer have a person to drive me between stations and such, because that person used to be my boyfriend. I’m frantically trying to put things together, the commute, all the various parts. The meeting is at a church somewhere in Flushing, NY. I need to ask someone I barely know to pick me up at NYC Penn Station. I don’t have a ticket back to Philly yet, I’m figuring out what I can do. I don’t want to take the train at 10pm. I try to find bus tickets. I’m asking if someone can pick me up from the station. It’s not their fault; they don’t know what has happened in my life this past Tuesday. How can I expect them to be sensitive? But I can’t help it. Someone doesn’t let me use the computer. Another tells me to just get a cab at 11pm and figure it out. Another person is making jokes and teasing, which usually fine, but I’m stressed, because the clock is ticking. My train to New York leaves at 12:40pm, and I have to buy lunch, get cash, get a ticket back, and not miss my train. I’m freaking out. I feel so unsupported. I feel bad asking to borrow money. I feel like it’s a hassle to ask someone if they can bring me back some bread from the bakery when they come back in. I feel awkward trying to explain myself from the start about why I have to use a computer to get bus tickets, and why I can’t just stay in NJ overnight. I feel cornered. I feel helpless.

A few minutes later, I stand on stage and help lead the congregation to sing. I serve them though my heart is breaking. I wish I could tell them how broken I am. I wish I can ask them to please stop teasing and playing with me today. I’m a bit tired. I’m a bit… sad. I love them and I want to serve them. But today, I’m just not strong enough to take some of the accidental things flung my way. But how would they know? I just didn’t say. But how do I say? I can’t even bring myself to open my mouth.

I’m sorry I’m not strong enough today. I still need some time.


2 thoughts on “The prodigal son’s older brother

  1. Sorry kinda lazy! So I’ll post everything on this comment.

    Referring to your other post, yeah… I have my ups and downs about transportation. For me, it’s Greyhound. Sometimes I look back, it’s great not to drive for 3 hours and just sit back and chillax. Sometimes they have dirt cheap rates, 30 bucks round trip. (From State College to Philly) How can you beat that?! Seriously…you can not..
    Then again, Greyhound has failed me many times. Delayed (2hrs-3.5hrs +), broken down in the boonies on a highway, overcrowded with passenger to the point they had to kick people out (me) to take the next one, passengers next to you with poor hygiene, people eating mustard pretzels or a family feast during the ride (usually I don’t care, but sometimes the bus have poor air circulation). Okay, maybe I can’t blame Greyhound for everything but it just ruins the ride. Would this be the last Greyhound will ever see me? I don’t know, GH is affordable and convenient; a service you can fall back on if all fails. Hmm thinking about failing… my car?! NEVER!!! I love you baby…

    I think you’re doing so much at once, especially with an injured heart. Gotta “chillax” -=).I strongly agree with what your friend commented from an earlier blog you posted. You need your friends to help you slowly recover or be there for you. You are doing that actually, been to some of the events myself. o_O Harry Potter this Wed? Yaki? WND this week is Yakitori Boy, I think it’ll be a special one since Tom is “temporary” leaving us.-=(

    If I knew it be so inconvenient, you could of ask me to take you up there. Hmmm, carpool with some heads. You do your thing for the retreat stuff and rest of us (whoever wants to go)can go shopping!

    So before I post this comment, let me tell you a famous quote that I will never need to use. “Don’t over work yourself!”

    See ya around buddy!

  2. Pingback: We can be set FREE from our brokenness, for $19.99! « The Adventures of a Third Culture Kid

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