The Wayward Daughter

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A mother whose daughter had behaved very badly…

…and at length had run away from home, thought of a singular plan in order to find the wanderer and draw her back to her home. After having exhausted the ordinary means, she had her own portrait fixed on a large handbill and pasted on the walls of the town where she supposed her daughter to be concealed. The portrait, without name, had these words, “I love thee always.”

Crowds stopped before the strange handbill, trying to guess its meaning. Days elapsed, when the young girl at last passed by, and in her turn lifted her eyes to the singular placard. “Can it be?” Yes, truly it is the picture of my mother. Those eyes, full of tenderness, I know from childhood. Why is it here?” She approaches nearer and reads. “I love thee always,” She understood; this was a message for her. Her mother loved her, –and had pardoned her.

Those words transformed the daughter. Never had she felt her sin or ingratitude so deeply. She was unworthy of such love. “She loves me always,” she cried.

If she had ever doubted that love, if in moments of distress she had feared to return home, those doubts were all gone now. She set out for the house of her mother; at last she crosses the threshold and collapses in her mother’s arms.

“My child!” cried the mother, as she presses her crying and repentant daughter to her heart; “I have never ceased to love thee.”

Isn’t that like God? 

Are you one of those who longs to come home, but feel you have done too much, or gone too far?  Your Father loves you. Your elder brother died for you.  All heaven is looking and hoping that you will come home. It is not too much to imagine angels traveling between earth and heaven with news about you.  Your whole heavenly family yearns for your presence, and looks for your safe arrival….

Will you not come?  Will you not turn around? Will you not come home, now? Come home!  It is my prayer that you will.

The story of the daughter was by, La bonne Nouville.