You know, childbirth is not the most severe pain you can experience as a woman- I believe being the mother of a prodigal child is! Even more so when they are now adults! The pain the mother of a prodigal suffers never goes away, for the love that God placed in our hearts for them from birth rarely dies. The natal cord still remains long after a child's birth- the invisible cord of love and bonding that make up a mother's love for her child. Only a prodigal child can touch your heart and leave it raw and still have you love them. The love that endures from its conception is usually only severed through the mother’s death. No matter how much we deny it, or try to divorce ourselves from them, it is exceedingly difficult to find that love for your child completely dies. A woman can divorce her abusive husband and eventually recover- the divorce of a prodigal child is virtually impossible. And often the wounded mother's heart is still bleeding as another onslaught of pain appears! To me, it is like a perpetual labour of the soul. I have been through the gamut of emotions prodigal children bring- from self-blame and introspection, guilt, regrets and despair to hope that after a trial he or she has finally learnt their lesson and grown up! I have found after many years, that it was their choices that cause them to be prodigals, not some defect in my mothering or love. It is a hard lesson to learn. It is harder still to distance yourself and mean it. For despite the best of intentions, a plea for help will summon the maternal desire to aid your child, and all good intentions for your own survival and mental health go down the drain. I have placed my children in God's care and have found that most times it has been more a learning experience in trusting God for me rather than for my children. I am devastated to find that after all my trouble with my son yesterday and over the last few weeks, he still hasn't learnt his lesson, and has been driving his car unlicensed. I am resigned to hearing that he has been taken into prison as the Judge warned him. I hope it doesn't happen- but I fear it will- and no amount of my praying will help him this time. The fault is not mine or God's, but his. The pain is ongoing- and I vow to myself to distance myself from him should it happen- yet God knows that I will suffer those pains only the mother of a prodigal can understand, when it happens. So to all mothers of prodigals, I have written this poem- a prayer really! And a plea for understanding for all those mothers blessed with basically good children. Please pray for me and all those mothers who continue to suffer through no fault of their own- except to be mothers of prodigals...


When The Mother Of A Prodigal Prays


Somewhere the poor mother of a prodigal son cries,

Her eyes reddened  and not taking in much at all,

For she’s seeing her son through the eyes of love

Not how the world sees him at all…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.


For every thief is some poor mother’s child,

He has captured her heart in love’s ransom-

Yet to her she still sees the son of her youth;

But he’s stolen all of her dreams…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.


Desperately and frantically the murderer flees

Yet from this one thing he can’t ever flee-

The love of his mother bowing in sorrow,

Bemoaning a love he can’t kill…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.


For every trembling junkie finally taking a fix

There’s a hurting mother just wondering why

The life that she gave him just isn’t enough;

And she bows her head slowly and cries…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.


The gavel thumps and the sentence is passed

She is ushered out as her son’s led away.

As tears flow down each side of her face

She still finds the strength to pray…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.


So for every news article that you ever read

Of sons that have gone their own way,

Remember that he has a mother who cares

And lift her to God when you pray…


For somewhere the mother of a prodigal prays…

O how this poor mother prays.



Glenys Robyn Hicks 2005


“Bear one another burdens
and so fulfill the law of Christ”
Galatians 6:2

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