Prodigal Eve, prodigal me
Somehow Eve, the archetypal woman, has entered many of my meditations over the years, and here she is again: this time as the 'prodigal daughter'. In the Luke 15 story, was the son or the father more extravagant? The one squandered his resources, to be sure, and lost nearly everything apart from his life. But the other also open-handedly threw his resources to the winds, hoping beyond hope that there would be a return on his speculation. That what he most loved would be brought back to him, to the place of restoration and wholeness. I have never done the 'wild living' thing, but finding that I belong and that I am wanted, whatever I have thought or wished for, done or not done, by the Someone who actually knows what those things are, stirs and moves and comforts me still.
He started shouting my name when he saw me way off in the distance. And I knew that he meant I should come back, he wanted me back, to be with him; he still wanted me.
So I kept walking.
I couldn't bear to look up as I stumbled towards him; I felt the shame and the terror of the past crashing like thunder in my ears, but I came.
And then I could hear his pounding footsteps, he was running, he was calling, he was crying ... he was crying my name:
Eve ... Eve ...
Eve, you've come back, you're here again, here you are ...
and I could feel the drip of his tears on my neck as he grasped me, his breath on my face as he clutched me and looked at me, looked at me, looked at me;
he lifted my face in his rough, old hands and I knew he was smiling, despite it all ...
I knew his eyes were full of tears but full of tenderness and joy, full of love.
Letting him love me again felt like stepping into fire;
but his passionate, suffering, fragile heart must have sacrificed yet more of its vulnerable strength to give life to mine
and I raised my eyes to meet his,
without need of words.
And I let him take me in his arms, and we went home together.
"Eve", he whispered, in my ear.