What if there were a way back?
What if you could regain all you surrendered and squandered? What if all that has been lost or stolen could be returned? What if there were an unfathomable generosity fueled by endless grace and truly unconditional love big enough to swallow whole every ounce of your selfishness and pride?
And what if you were invited to join the celebration of that unfathomable generosity, endless grace, and truly unconditional love even though you had spurned them so brazenly?
Is it too much to ask for? Is it too good to be true?
Or perhaps it’s so good it must be true.
There is an epic story of reconciliation and restoration into which we are being invited. There is, for each one of us, an opportunity to be written into this story, because we need this story to be true.
The very thing that seems like it would prevent us from getting in on something this good is actually the way we enter the celebration. The stigma of our shame, which we spend so much time hiding so that others will never see it, is the means by which we connect with the reconciliation and restoration offered to us.
It is only when we are aware of our shame that we can appreciate unfathomable generosity, endless grace, and truly unconditional love.
Tony Anderson, composer and executive producer of the forthcoming film Heart Of Man, has a story to tell. It’s a story about the radical nature of God’s heart for humanity. Anderson says that shame is not a barrier, rather it is a bridge to connect us to the grace of God. View the trailer here.
The Heart Of Man is a film version of the classic parable known as the Prodigal Son, interspersed with interviews with people who tell portions of their own stories. It will play for one night only, Sept. 14, at 7pm in all time zones.
“Prodigal” means “spending money or using resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.” While the parable is known as the story of the Prodigal Son, the truth is it’s the father in the story who is truly the prodigal. The father uses his wealth and resources freely — even recklessly — and he is wastefully extravagant when he kills the fattened calf for his wayward son who has returned.
The son had rehearsed a speech of contrition only to have the father wrap him in a tight embrace and put on him a robe which signified full acceptance. No speech necessary. The father’s desire was to welcome the son back home fully, unwaveringly, and joyfully.
And such is God’s heart toward us.
If this is truly the heart of God for humanity, then not only is it too good to be true, it’s so good it must be true. The film, Heart Of Man, explores the extravagance of God’s heart for His people.
Without a Prodigal God, restoration would be impossible and we would remain disconnected from the lives we were meant to live.
Every affection and appetite that drew the son away from his father was an attempt to find life, meaning, and fullness apart from the father. Those affections and appetites are common to all people.
Those of us with compulsive sexual behavioural patterns — something which Anderson discusses in his interview — know the affections and appetites that pull us away all too well.
The story of the Prodigal Son/Prodigal God is a story which reveals that God is actually astonishingly better than we could have ever hoped He would be. And better yet, His wasteful extravagance with physical resources as well as grace, love, and acceptance are all true.
There is a religious veil that obscures the truth of just how good God’s heart is, and which covers our understanding of ourselves as recipients of His goodness. Like Anderson, i hope that the film, Heart Of Man pierces that veil.
Shame is not a barrier, it’s a bridge. This is so good it must be true.