11/11/2006

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

"Often I have asked friends to give me their first impression of Rembrandt's Prodigal Son. Inevitably, they point to the wise old man who forgives his son: the benevolent patriarch ...As soon as I recognized the difference between the two hands of the father, a new world of meaning opened up for me. The Father is not simply a great patriarch. He is mother as well as father. He touches the son with a masculine hand and a feminine hand. He holds, and she caresses. He confirms and she consoles. He is , indeed, God, in whom both manhood and womanhood, fatherhood and motherhood, are fully present. That gentle and caressing right hand echoes for me the words of the prophet Isaiah: "Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the chile she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you. Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."

PS: More information - http://www.henrinouwen.org/ see also book: Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

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