"We must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found." Luke 15:32 (NAB)
Prodigal Siblings are companions on the journey of recovery. Having experienced both the pain of our own addictions and the grace of healing in recovery, we offer encouragement for those making the difficult journey home to find their true selves again.
Jesus said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"
Luke 15:11-32 (NAB)
The prodigal son in Jesus’ parable ran away from home and lost his identity and sense of who he was. In coming home his identity was restored, and he discovered that he was always his father’s son. Anyone who has had the experience of running away in life, squandered the gifts that have been given, or lost their identity and sense of self as a result of an addiction and has also made the journey back home through recovery can be a prodigal sibling.
Recovery from any addiction is not easy. Life is not easy. Most of us have learned that we need each other in a program of recovery. Pride in thinking one can recover by himself/herself has led to many relapses. We know that we can do more together than each of us working alone. This is a strength of our fellowships. As Prodigal Siblings we rejoice in the steps a brother or sister in recovery makes to find themselves again. We encourage when the journey seems too difficult. We find ongoing ways to share our own experience, strength, and hope with those who are struggling on their own road of recovery.
We know that our own returning home is never really complete until this earthly journey is done. We continue to work our own recovery programs, because we cannot share what we ourselves do not have.
We keep hope alive by helping another addict come home.
To learn more, please visit the rest of the Prodigal Siblings website.