The parable that I have heard from time to time, overall, from different minister’s sermons is “The Parable of the Prodigal Son,” found in Luke 15:11-32. It is a parable that Jesus taught, emphasizing forgiveness. Whenever I hear a message on this parable or read it in the Bible, these thoughts come in mind:
Why did the elder son have to find out the way he did that his “lost” brother had returned home? The father had forgiven his younger son for his wayward living and welcomed him home with a gala celebration. Instead of being told by his father and/or servant, the elder son had to discover the joyous event only because of his curiosity as to why there was music and dancing as he approached the house from the field.
When told by the servant that the festive occasion was to celebrate the return of his younger brother, he refused to join the party and became angry. It was only because of the anger of the elder brother that the father tried to appease him by telling him whatever he (the father) had was his (the son’s). The elder son worked hard in the field, was obedient and did everything he could to please his father — and never received a party in his honor.
This is a perfect example in life that parents may not realize, but causes sibling rivalry that may last a lifetime. Partiality among siblings happens in so many families because a father or mother tends to favor the child who is “like” in character/personality or for another particular reason.
As an example: A very dear friend of mine told me that at times in her life, she sensed her mother’s partiality toward a younger brother and felt unloved, even though she strived to please her mother in every way possible. She told me that several months before her mother passed away, her mother told her she had a special concern for this brother because he was physically the “weakest” of her children.
My friend agreed with her mother that this brother, indeed, had several physical problems and passed away at a time that could have been the prime of his life. The friend told me she was happy that she and her mother were able to have this conversation because it gave her a different attitude in life and now she knew that her mother did love her. My friend also became aware that there is a reason for everything.
You may say, “Maggie, ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Son’ is just a parable.” Yes, I know, but at the beginning of this article, I said these were my thoughts. Does this make me a realist?
The following are some samples of letters received and my answers to them. Perhaps they may “entice” you to write me. Meow!
Q: I just got a kitten. Do you have some ideas for a cute Japanese name? She’s white with black spots and she loves to play hide and seek.
A: Wonderful! May you have a p-u-r-r-fect relationship. Here are three name suggestions:
1. Hide-chan since you said she loves to play hide and seek.
2. Neko-chan which is an endearing term for cat in Japanese.
3. Shiro-chan since you said she is white with black spots.
Try to say her name whenever she is near you. By the end of two to three weeks, when you call her name from another room and she comes to you, then you know she knows her name.
Q: My significant other and I have gotten into a big fight. We’re not talking to each other right now and I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?
A: Oh my, that’s not very good. Have you tried calling your significant other on the phone? If he doesn’t answer the phone, write him a letter. If he doesn’t answer your letter or completely ignores you, forget your significant other. If you can’t communicate, nothing can be solved. Just remember there are other significant others in this world.
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.