size: 30% larger than life
This parable or story of the lost son as recorded by Luke is Jesus’ longest and most detailed of all. Delesprie was commissioned by The Crystal Cathedral to sculpt this heroic sized monument (32% larger than life) inspired by the message of a father’s unconditional love and forgiveness toward his wayward son. The piece, entitled “Coming Home,” can be viewed on the grounds of the Crystal Cathedral, and captures the moment when the penitent son throws himself at his father’s feet.
Notice the son’s tattered robe, his bare, calloused feet, and the many cuts and abrasions on his body. This young man has learned many difficult life lessons since leaving his father and the comforts of home. Now, totally bereft of all he once held dear, his only hope rests with his father. Is it possible his father could take him back as one of his servants? Yes, perhaps, but would he?
Tears of sorrow and repentance flow freely down the son’s face, too long held back from pride. Grasping his father by the neck, he makes his plea and immediately falls to his knees.
As ones eyes lift upward from the desolate figure, a stark contrast of emotion is portrayed on the face of the father. He, too, is weeping, but upon closer scrutiny, it is evident his tears fall out of joy. The father’s gaze is toward Heaven, and it’s easy to imagine him repeatedly mouthing the words, “Thank you, thank you!” Another distinguishing feature of the father is his clothing. His elaborate, ornamented robe and cloak, fastened at the neck with a silken cord, is no different than what his son once wore. By his command, the lost son will be so arrayed by days end.
An interesting detail, on which Delesprie intentionally focused her attention, is the stance of the father as he embraces his son. Observe his bent knees and muscular arms as he almost stoops to raise his beloved son back up to eye level. In the father’s mind, this is not a time to berate his willful child for squandering his inheritance. Here, as in Jesus’ parable, the father, a representation of our own Heavenly Father, is most concerned about restored relationships. After all, his son was lost, and is now found; was dead, and is now alive! –By Allison Garner