A Kiss for a Prodigal

by DanWolgemuth on August 24, 2018

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, ESV)

In 2009, the Academy Award for the Best Motion Picture of the Year went to Slumdog Millionaire. The story is a creatively-woven movie that chronicles the life of three young children left as orphans in the slums of Mumbai, India. The picture is rough and raw… but compelling.

The essence of the storyline is the relentless pursuit of Jamal Malik to find his childhood friend, a juvenile crush… Latika. The painful childhood separation of the two left an unabated passion for Jamal to pursue, rescue and reunite with the love of his life.

Latika has been abused, and controlled, and enslaved through her journey to adulthood. At one point, Latika escapes, only to be recaptured. She’s thrown in the back seat of a car and as the vehicle pulls away from the curb an agonizing Jamal watches as a knife slices across her left cheek as a consequence of her action.

But, hope is not completely lost. As the result of a sacrificial act by Jamal’s brother, Latika is liberated, and at long last, on a railway platform, Jamal and Latika are reunited.

They embrace… oblivious to the world and clamor around them. And in a powerful act of grace and love, Jamal leans forward… but not for a lingering romantic kiss. Instead, Jamal’s lips meet the lengthy and prominent scar that marked Latika’s left cheek.

A lifetime of waiting and wanting… culminates in a kiss to a scar.

Scars. A visible reminder of pain and brokenness. Smothered, but not with makeup or coverup… but with love. Not ignored, but not shame producing either.

Our scars. My scars. Evidence of a fallen world and a sinful heart. My scars… some self-induced, some a product of others.

But God. Through Jesus.

A prodigal… looking for home. Now swamped by the outrageous love of The Father. Embraced, then kissed.

No plastic surgery. No blinders on… no, God kisses our scars.

Amazingly, it is by His wounds, His crushed body, His sacrifice that my wounds can be redeemed. By His scars I am healed.

Grace kisses what sin produces. In His embrace, I am not shamed or rebuked… I am loved. While I was still a long way off, while I was still a self-consumed sinner… I was pursued. Relentlessly.

Is there a scar you are hiding? Has shame convinced you that you could never be loved?

His wounds heal my wounds. And then the kiss, not in ignorance, but in outrageous love. Not a condoning kiss but a redemptive kiss. Not sin concealed, but grace revealed. Out of the ashes, beauty.

On a railroad platform in Mumbai, a scar was no match for love.

Someday it will be our turn to kiss His scars… the scars that brought us hope. The sacrifice of His pursuing love.

His kiss… a kiss of mercy. My kiss… a kiss of worship.

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