Life lessons from a Rembrandt painting

My First reading of Henri Nouwen's book The Return of the Prodigal Son (Doubleday, 1992) left me gasping in astonishment. In 192 pages, Nouwen taught me more about parenting than I'd learned from 25 years of raising my own children.

How could I have failed so dismally to appreciate the richness of this story during my first thousand or more readings of the 15th chapter of Luke in the Bible? And, as an avid reader of religious books, how come I'd never encountered the 18 other books written by this former Harvard teacher and pastor of L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada?

What I do know is that he would have forgiven me, in the spirit in which he writes so persuasively about forgiveness in his book on the Prodigal. Of course, he would insist that this has to be God's forgiveness, which is unconditional.

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Bible study... transforming lives
November 18, 2002

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