Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 26, 1956

My Father Ran

Pryde E. Hinton, Dora, Ala.

Isn't it strange that most of us see only one side of almost everything we see? Perhaps that is because we are so limited physically that it affects us mentally and spiritually. In the so-called Parable of the Prodigal Son, few give any consideration to the "elder son." Others see only that it is, to them, an example of a sinner's being saved, and use it to prove salvation without obedience to the gospel. Others see little in it except the deplorable state of the lost boy.

But some time ago I read a brief poem in a little magazine that an unknown friend had sent to me. It was entitled (I think) "My Father Ran." The author attempted to show the wonderful thought that God, our Heavenly Father, is represented as running to meet the prodigal with loving, open arms. I wanted to use that poem recently, but could not find it; so, without remembering even one line of it, I have written an alleged poem myself on the same theme, with apologies to the author, whoever he is, of the poem I lost.

Father, had failed Thy love to see;

And though later I tried, so little I've done.

But when I arose and came back to Thee,

Thou tamest to meet me — I saw Thee run!

I wonder how often Thy great heart yearned?

For the resurrection of Thy dead son ?

But when in obedient faith I returned,

My Father met me'I saw Him run!

My strength was weak, my faith was dim;

But I said, "I'll do the best I can."

But before I went all the way to Him,

He came out to meet me — my Father ran!

My Father's love and grace I had wasted;

I wasn't worthy to be called His son;

Yet when He saw me coming, He hasted

To meet me, and I saw my Father run!

If I had continued so far to stray,

Or had waited until life's day was done,

Would He have embraced me as on that day?

Would I have seen my Father run?

The fatted calf, shoes, robe, and ring

— All for me; sinful, unworthy son!

But sweeter to me is this marvelous thing:

He came out to meet me! I saw Him run!

If only sinners would learn how eagerly and graciously the Father would receive them when they come to Him! But, too, they should realize that His commands and things we are taught to do are a "ONE-WAY STREET" in the direction of God; God will not travel in the wrong direction on that road to reach and receive us. We must by ourselves travel that road. Then when we shall have reached the end, where human strength and God's commands end, the Father will be there. He will, He has, run to that point. Calvary and the open tomb attest to this! This principle is true to both alien sinner and erring child of God.