The calendar’s wound around again to the feast of St. Edmund the Prodigal, one of those I identify with most strongly out of the Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve who make up the choir of Narnian saints.
Lately, though, I seem to be thinking more about the one who doesn’t come back. The Prodigal is important if you want people to understand that they can always come back to the Light, but sometimes in life there really is no turning back.
I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon today. That’s a long post of it’s own, one I’m working on but not ready to talk about yet, but here’s the thing. When I told my mother about it in the course of a bigger conversation, she asked if I was sure.
Sometimes you do things you can’t undo. You show me someone who’s never done anything they couldn’t take back, and I’ll show you someone who’s never done much of anything. Having a child did that for me. Getting married, while I could get divorced, is a thing I can’t not have done. My body already has plenty of scars that won’t go away; this is just going to be more visible.
The prodigal option means coming back changed, and being welcomed anyway. Can you welcome your prodigal back regardless of what’s happened? Can you welcome him as the person he’s become instead of the person who left?
Edmund couldn’t undo his time with the Witch, and he was a different person because of it. Like Edmund, I’ve made choices I can’t undo. More than that, choices I don’t want to undo.
If someone doesn’t welcome me as the person I am now, the person I have worked to become, then they don’t really welcome me. Edmund understands the lesson of learning from your choices and moving forward, without trying to undo what can’t be undone.