Extending the Compassion of the Father

I've been thinning a lot recently about some of the statements and conclusions that Henri Nouwen makes in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son.  One thing I've been thinking about is Nouwen's idea that part of the Christian life is growing to become like the Father in Jesus parable (Luke 15) who welcomes home the prodigal son from a life of gluttony.  In the application of the parable the Father figure is God himself who welcomes home his sons and daughter after they have rebelled and attempted to live their lives apart from Him.

Nouwen challenges me to not settle on seeing myself as the wandering son or the angry brother, but rather, to push on to maturity in the faith by becoming the Father and extending God's endless love, grace and mercy to those around me.  God is a God of compassion and he calls he followers to extend that compassion to others around them.  Everyday at work I get the opportunity to show the love of the Father as I encounter the troubles, trials and pains of the people I manage.