We are broken creatures, and yet this is not in itself a terrible thing. Refusing to admit it is what is terrible. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise, sang King David in Psalm 51. The younger son is usually considered by the older siblings to be so stupid that they feel he’s a drag on them as they set off on the Quest, so they leave him alone in the darkest part of the forest, in order to get on with the business of the world. They expect to succeed and to succeed through their own power and control. And they are not generous. Many of Jesus’ stories point this out. When the Prodigal Son returns, the elder brother is not pleased. He goes out and sulks because he does not want his father to give a party for this kid who has made such a mess of his life. The elder brothers in the parable of the workers in the vineyard are furious at the vineyard owner for paying those who worked for only an hour at the end of the day the same wages as the good elder brothers who worked all day in the heat of the sun. The elder brothers all scream for justice, fairness. And there is something in most of us that agrees. It isn’t fair! And it isn’t. But God is not a God of fairness, but of Love.
Madeleine L’Engle from The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth
Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash