I’m affected by a prodigal; William Newell, born in the 1800’s.  He was a prodigal son whose father finally imposed on R. A. Torrey to allow William to enroll at Moody Bible Institute. Dr. Torrey pointed out that MBI was a school not a reformatory, but, after laying out some rigid restrictions he took William as a project and did finally see great gains in the young man’s life.

William decided to put his testimony in poem form which was immediately set to music; that is the form in which it reached me. After listening three times through it on You Tube, my heart is stirred by the Holy Spirit, who directed the writing of “At Calvary” about 120 years ago—a song whose words echo pathos and victory through the years. “Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty, At Calvary.” A wonderful story of God’s promise to “work all things together for good,” I wonder if William and his father have been able to rejoice in this victory of a father who endured much and did not give up in obtaining help for his prodigal.  In Heaven do they remember?  I don’t know; I know they no longer feel the pain, but perhaps they rejoice in the victory.

Sometime ago I stopped by an assisted living place and met a lady who invited me in for a chat. Her husband was gone at the time – gone to the jail to see about their beloved grandson who was walking the way of the prodigal. Wish I had had this story to tell her. 

I am thinking of another dear friend whose heart has been broken by a son who was in prison, was released, was imprisoned again, released, and the last I know he was in prison again.

Prayer:  God, comfort the weary mothers and fathers who have to bear this burden.  Give them assurance that you are faithful.  You haven’t turned a deaf ear to their prayers.  Be the “hound of heaven” to them, I pray.


“I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.”
― Francis G. ThompsonThe Hound of Heaven


About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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10 Responses to THE PRODIGAL

  1. joyroses13 says:

    A story of hope and encouragment about the wondrous ways God can work! Never give up hope! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ah yes! I remember this so well for singing in the choir in my youth. Don’t hear it so much any longer.

    The Collingsworth Family has a great version:

  3. judyjourneys says:

    “At Calvary” has been one of my favorite hymns since childhood. And your quote from “The Hound of Heaven” has been with me since college. Good reminders!

    • oneta hayes says:

      I love it. I’ve never been able to concentrate on “The Hound of Heaven” enough to get all the “meat” I know must be there, but the theme has stayed with me for many years. It is something I should pull up and dwell on.

  4. Prodigals, a subject close to my heart. My heart aches for my own prodigals, that one day they would experience the fullness of God. They are in God’s hands, and I hold on to that verse in the Bible…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

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