Coming Home By Paula Mitchell

by Christine Sine

Coming Home

I don’t know about you
but sometimes, more often
than I would like,
I find myself
living in a distant land
far from home.

It’s a place where
I work too hard,
where I’m over-responsible
out of touch with
my true feelings
my real identity.

It’s a place where I
forget who I am
and whose I am

In this distant country
hungry and miserable,
I resolve to begin
the long journey home.
Surely I can work for my Father
live as a hired hand
in the home where I was once
his beloved child.

Turning toward home
I wonder why I reject my
Father’s love and care.
Why do I work so hard?
What am I trying to prove?
I know my self-sufficiency
separates me from those I love
and those who love me.

Walking I fill the hours
thinking about what I’ll say
when I arrive home.
I’ll tell my Father
I’m not worthy to be your child
I’m not worthy of your love
let me be your servant.

While I’m still far away
My father sees me
has compassion on me
runs to meet me
puts his arms around me
and kisses me.

I try to tell him,
“I’m not worthy to be your child”.

Paying no attention
he calls for the servants
to get me a robe
-the best one
a ring for my finger
sandals for my feet.

I thought I was coming home
on my terms
my plan, my way
as a servant not a son.
The moment you called for the best robe,
the ring, the sandals
I had to decide
whether I would insist on coming home
my way, on my terms.

Or would I simply
be still and receive
the robe, ring, and sandals
all tokens of your great kindness
a love so vast
I am overwhelmed.

I know I don’t deserve
your love, grace, and mercy
perhaps that’s the point.
I can never come home on my terms-
my definitions of
don’t deserve
don’t belong
don’t matter so much anymore.
I’m finding as I let go of my way
I’m free to come home
to who I am and whose I am
your beloved child.

Far from you
it seemed no one gave my anything.
Coming home I realize
all that I am, and all that I have,
are your gifts,
given to me as signs
of your love and grace.

Being cared for
allows me to let go
of working so hard for you
to simply enjoy being with you
resting in your love
living in your grace
wearing the robe
-the best one
the ring
sandals on my feet
home at last-

-Paula Mitchell


Bio  mal4747

She is the founder and program director of Doorways Ministries providing days of prayer, Ignatian retreats, and a 9 month program based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as ways of deepening our lives with Christ.  She is also the city coordinator for the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a Jesuit organization dedicated to offering spiritual retreats inspired by Ignatian Spirituality to people experiencing homelessness.

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