For many people I know, Christianity has been boiled down to morality. It has become a way to ensure you skip eternal damnation. It’s a list of do’s and don’ts, but there is no real freedom. Many Christians have traded the yoke of slavery for the yoke of religion, and both are dead.
A failed suicide attempt forced me to face myself. At first, all I wanted to do was disconnect from anyone and anything that seemed more “normal” than me. And everyone seems more normal than you feel when you’ve just been discharged from the psych ward. I didn’t want anyone to know my story, or the details of the journey that eventually landed me in an ICU. I didn’t want my family to know, and I certainly didn’t want to face the Church.
Like so many others, I thought life came with two choices: be a normal Christian guy, or be crazy. I felt stuck. Lost.
I wonder if the Prodigal Son was feeling like me. The parable certainly implies he was humiliated. If the Prodigal Son had been able to work through the smothering lies that come with shame, would he have come home sooner? I’ve heard others ask it this way: “If the Prodigal Son had Xanax, would he have ever come home?”