The further we move away from our own brokenness, out of touch with our own darkness, we often harden. Loneliness, lacking compassion, inability to be present, and unintentionally sending wrong messages, interferes with the light and influence we have during our most vulnerable times being connected to our broken self.
"Rembrandt is as much the elder son of the parable as he is the younger. When, during the last years of his life, he painted both sons in Return of the Prodigal Son, he had lived a life in which neither the lostness of the younger son, nor the lostness of the elder son, was alien to him. Both needed healing and forgiveness. Both needed to come home. Both needed the embrace of a forgiving father. But from the story itself, as well as from Rembrandt's painting, it is clear that the hardest conversion to go through is the conversion of the one who stayed home." -Henri Nouwen