This site contains only the content of the book. Photographs by A. Rhae Adams and drawings are only available in hardcopy.

Robert Blue

Once on a modern time, Robert Blue began to have doubts about his life and the decisions he had made. He had spent his life working hard. He built a farmer's supply business from scratch. He managed to provide for his wife and two sons, but he knew he had neglected too often his sons.

His older, Bob, was doing well at college, but his younger son, Bill, had decided, instead of going to college, to be a professional musician. Bill asked his parents to finance his band in lieu of sending him to college. Robert had acquiesced to his younger son's request; but alas, in less than one year's time, Bill had gone through all his money and was begging on the streets in a distant city.

Robert, who knew people in that city through his business travels, learned of his son's misfortunes. Really, for the first time in his life, Robert had felt truly helpless. He had supported Bill's decision over his wife's objections. He didn't feel comfortable either openly going to fetch Bill back home or to do it clandestinely behind Mrs. Blue's back. Yet, he did feel that it was something he must do.

Then, to Robert's surprise, he learned that his son, of his own accord, was returning home. Robert ordered a feast be prepared for the weekend and met Bill when he got off the bus. Robert felt overwhelming joy.

However, Robert's happiness was short lived. When Bob returned home from college that weekend and learned that a feast had been prepared for his wayward brother, Bob was furious.

Bob said to his father, "You never loved me. You never had any time for me all the years I was growing up. Still, I've done what a good son should. Unlike Billy who could never do anything but blow his horn. Now you're throwing a party for him. You've never done anything special for me."

Robert's feelings of profound doubts in his life's decisions crystallized as he watched his heir storm from the store that day. These feelings intensified into the next week as he continued his daily routine.

Bob returned to school and Bill came to work at the store. Robert worried that he had traded one son for the other. Then, as he watched Bill go through the paces, Robert began to fear that both were actually lost.

It was during that week that Faith Moon came to the store to buy some supplies for her spring garden. She was surprised to see Robert so dejected and inquired as to the reason.

Robert knew that his wife often confided in Faith Moon, but he never had. It wasn't in his nature to share his personal business with anyone. Then, until recently, he had never felt that he had personal problems. So, he decided to share with the good Faith Moon. She listened as he related the biting words of his older son and then she said:

I know that it was difficult to hear him say those things.

Perhaps he is like you: his thoughts were only of himself.

How often have you said to him, "We'll get together then."?

His bad behavior helped you to see your own mistakes.

You should repent for your past sins.

Yet, you need not repent all aspects of your life.

And ask forgiveness both from Bob and from yourself,

But, ask forgiveness only for the sins you did commit.

On close inspection, nature seems composed with many mistakes.

The sapling blocked from the sun produces a mangled tree.

The spider weaves to the deformed branch producing asymmetric lines.

Still, to our eyes, it all appears a beautiful landscape.

Your sin was not in celebrating in your son's return.

By celebrating the return of your son, who was prodigal,

You acted as the father in the parable as told by Jesus Christ.

You wronged the one but not in welcoming back the other son.

As you know, you neglected what you should not have.

All make mistakes.

Therein is not the heart of us.

Repent for your mistakes,

But see the threads of your life as a total weave.

Robert Blue felt better after his talk with Mother Moon. He knew that he had forgiven himself. He continued his day with a resolve to do better by his sons, both of his sons.