The Parable of the Disgraced Father

September 15, 2019


For most of my life,
I have heard stories about the first house that my parents lived in.
It was known to them and their neighbors as The Mengises.
Mengis was the last name of the first owners of this house.
So, in that rural community in Wayne County, Ohio
the Schlonegers lived at the Mengises.
When my parents and two older brothers told stories about this house,
they always laughed when they called it The Mengises.
Growing up, I pictured the house in my mind –
I thought it was a rental, ranch style, white, with a circular drive surrounded by trees.
I don’t know why, but that’s just how I imagined it.
I didn’t actually know The Mengises.
In my mind, this house was a part of all those fuzzy years before color television,
the era that history knows as Before Mark.
Unlike my brothers, I had no personal memories.
That house was a part of their story, not mine.

It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about a house or a story —
if you never belonged in it, if you can’t place yourself inside it,
then you’ve never truly known it.

Bible References

  • Luke 15:1 - 3
  • Luke 15:11b - 32