Hope in the Heartland

A tale of 2 sons

Pastor of Peabody Bible Church

A stench floating up from the ground caused the young man to grimace in disgust. A hot breeze lifted the overpowering smell of pig urine and manure from the muddy ground, making his eyes burn and forcing him to breathe through his mouth instead of his nose. His sandal sank in the slop and as he pulled his foot out, new odor emerged from the sludge.

He tossed a few barely edible carob pods toward a herd of pigs and they devoured them quickly. He glared at the last of the carob pods in his hands, knowing he had to save so the swine could eat tomorrow.

Insistent hunger pangs gnawed at him from his empty belly. The harsh awareness of his utter poverty caused him to drop to his knees with a sloppy splash, dispersing a swarm of flies from a nearby pile of dung. A few pigs snorted as he raised a horn-shaped pod to his mouth and he began to eat.

This was his job — his life — his doing. He could not blame his father, nor could he pin this on his older brother. He knew neither of them was responsible for the ruin that his life had become.

In fact no one had pushed him down the slippery slope into this filth. He looked at the mud and the manure stuck to his ragged clothes. He could no longer tell one from the other.

He was a self-made man who now ate with pigs.

To be continued

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