The Partygoers

white and red no smoking sign

Hey, nice party, isn’t it? 

Yes, the veal is excellent. And the band, great band with a middle Eastern vibe. I wonder where he found them. 

Local, I think. Wonder why he threw the party, sounds like a strange reason to me. 

What do you mean? 

Well, if my son had been so impudent, had asked for his inheritance so soon, ran off to some far-off, God forsaken country and spent it on loose women and gambling and booze, I don’t think I would be so welcoming on his return. I definitely wouldn’t give him sandals, a robe and a ring. Scandalous, just scandalous the way he forgives him so easily.  

What would you do? 

First, I would not throw a party. I’d teach my son a little respect, make him earn his way back into the family. After all, he made some bad choices, and he deserves punishment. They tell me he slopped pigs while he was gone. Maybe he could help in the horse stalls until he proved himself. Looks like there’s some carpentry work needed on the barns. Put him to work, I say, and let him stew a little. Make him sweat. It would do him some good. Do you not agree? You seem a little empathetic. 

Yes, I am. Think about it. The son made a mistake. Weren’t you a bit prodigal at one time in your life or at least wanted to be? And slopping pigs, eating leathery, hard bean pods and corn husks with the swine seems punishment enough to me. Come on man, that country was going through famine. That’s hard. I think he realized his mistake and knew he was wrong. Cut the boy some slack. 

Hey, look, his father is stepping outside. There, through the window, is that his older brother? Man, he looks upset. Why is he so angry, waving his arms around like that and yelling at his dad? He looks mad enough. I hope he doesn’t strike his dad. 

He should be upset. He’s been the good son, obedient to a fault. He’s done all his dad ever asked and now this wayward brother of his gets a big party. I would be resentful, too. Way I hear it, I don’t think he and his brother ever got along. 

Appears he and his dad don’t get along either. I’ve heard the older brother isn’t as good as people think. Word is, he puts on a good show, but he’s really a self-centered brat, a sanctimonious hypocrite like some other people I know. 

Don’t be so harsh. 

Who’s being forgiving now? You sound like the father. 

I wouldn’t go that far. If I were his father, I would exercise my authority. 

You just don’t get it, do you? His father is not lenient, he is gracious. He loves both his sons and wants the best for both. At least one son understands. The elder one doesn’t. One was lost and is found. One is still lost.  

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