We Orthodox have come to the Sunday of The Prodigal Son, one of the weeks preparing us for Great Lent. Pascha, the Resurrection of our Lord, is so central to the faith that we not only have the 40 days of preparation for the feast which constitute Lent, but we have a month of Sundays preparing us for the preparation. It’s all good.
I loved this poem on the subject by Romanian Fr. Dumitru Ichim. The phrase I took from it for the title of this post, “I just roam,” reminds me of words in an Orthodox prayer: “Always I am fleeing and no consolation have I….”
Lent is our opportunity to repent of running to and fro, “always fleeing” and distracted from our purpose. Sometimes the beginning of the journey back home is made in the pain of darkness and hunger, but “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
THE PRODIGAL SON
“The fog slowly is rising around here:
Father, it’s dark, I’m taken by fear!”
“Why? Can you no longer see the road home?”
“My light and my heart are worn; I just roam;
All bridges are broken, impossible,
Because I love myself… the prodigal.
The fog slowly descends from the mountain
Cunningly, to the mill, to the fountain…
Do I just seem to hear the cranes singing?”
“The clouds deceive you: fog they are bringing…”
“Where are you Father? You are a rock beyond choice
And closer to me than my very own voice.
The silence is painful, but I still shout to you!
I am hungry of you, and I’m very cold, too!”
-Fr. Dumitru Ichim, translated by Octavian Gabor