Sarah Burkhardt lost her father at a young age. She wrote this poem from her experience as a child who grew up without a father.
What I am discovering,
Is exactly what the prodigal did—
Taking his father’s inheritance in pursuit of the life and the will he wanted
Only finding that there is no deeper love that he can discover
Than the very one whose inheritance he squandered.
When we learn to live beloved,
To trust the love that casts out all fear,
We learn not only how great our God is;
But that we, ourselves, in all our unique intricacies, are a gift.
A gift of creation, made new.
We find a new identity,
And a new hope.
It is tempting to be like the older brother,
The faithful one standing above it all, unembraced by his Father’s love.
Pride itself is a fall. and self-obsession can easily plague.
You must learn to let go.
We can be so close and not see, not allow ourselves the true embrace that we really need.
Be embraced by the Father. It is through Christ we can abide in His love. It is likely exactly the key, to find and know that thirst that you’ve been longing for, a fount of water that does not run out in the Spirit.
And you learn that you, yes you,
Yourself are a gift—in your job, in your family, in your community, called to a greater mission, and a great adventure, more life-giving than you could ever dream.
It might mean you will go across the world, but more likely it will start in your own yard, with a Father’s embrace, saying son, daughter—you are a gift. This is a true inheritance, one that will not fade away, and one that you can trust with your very life, for your entire life.
A new inheritance, one that will not be destroyed.