Kanye- Fool For Christ?

Holy Foolishness

“For all its profundity and pathos, the role of the fool bearer would not seem to help us much with communication, and its main significance has always been for discipleship. To follow Jesus is to pay the cost of discipleship, and then to die to ourselves, to our own interests, our own agendas and reputations. It is to pick up our crosses and count the cost of losing all that contradicts his will and his way—including our reputations before the world, and our standing with the people and in the communities that we once held dear. It is to live before one audience, the audience of One, and therefore to die to all other conflicting opinions and assessments. There is no room here for such contemporary ideas as the looking-glass self, and no consideration here for trivial contemporary obsessions such as one’s (materialist) legacy.
It is telling that what is probably the first known depiction of the crucifixion in Christian worship in the early centuries is graffiti-style mockery. It was found in Rome on the Palatine Hill in 1857, but goes back at least to the third century, if not earlier. It shows a crude caricature of a man with an ass’s head nailed to a cross, with the words beneath, “Alaxamenos worships his God.” More encouragingly, the next room of the house has a riposte that has been added: “Alaxamenos fidelis” (Alaxamenos is faithful). In short, to be a follower of Jesus is to be willing to be a fool for Christ and to join the long tradition of “holy fools” who have graced the story of the church from the beginning. St. Francis, God’s jongleur or tumbler, stands as the best-known holy fool of all, but Ireland, Russia and many other countries have added their own distinguished exemplars of “faithful folly.”
– Os Guinness, Fool’s Talk

Dia Logos

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Kanye West spoke on Jesus Is King, Sunday Service, and Being Born Again.

As the newly Christian rapper states, there are indeed many levels to trafficking. This is, of course, even more true for life generally and for Kanye West. At a time when there are many voices eager to portray Mr West as mentally ill, a cunning fraud or merely a provocateur, we should listen attentively to the voice of the man himself and look to history to discern what is really being said. And Who is really saying it. This is not to claim Kanye as a saint or place him in the pantheon of spiritual masters. We can question his orthodoxy, in love, but this insightful interview amongst other recent discussions, would suggest something considerably deeper is happening here through this witness, and hints at a genuine change of mind. Fr Ron Rolheiser has this to say about metanoia, or ‘a change of mind’:

“The first word out of Jesus’ mouth in the Synoptic gospels is the word metanoia. Among its other meanings, it’s the opposite of paranoia. It means to trust even in the face of distrust. Paranoia is natural to us, metanoia isn’t; it requires struggling to draw sustenance from a deeper source.”

In this interview from the spacious wilds of Wyoming, we are provided images and messages of a new found freedom in Christ, and of Holy foolishness. We learn a little about the inner workings of this recent Christian convert and his new vision motivated by The God Man, Jesus Christ. There are a number of archetypal patterns and historical parallels that prove interesting throughout, but aside from Ye as Holy Fool as previously mentioned, I would like to track the rapper’s surprising similarities with the great African Saint Augustine and The Prodigal Son primarily.

Kanye’s fascinating life story is not unlike St Augustine’s biography, from ardent false faiths and addictions, to sex and worldly powers, to a later restful heart in God and spirit of victory over falsehood. This is a parallel I’d like to follow a bit, especially inspired by James KA Smith’s recent book on the great African: On The Road With Saint Augustine.

In a way, Smith says his book about Augustine is a book that the saint has written about each of us. Ie Archetypal. He invites us to take this journey too, for this ancient African thinker knows far more about us than we might expect.

Following Smith’s successful You Are What You Love, On The Road… shows how Augustine can be a pilgrim guide to a spirituality that meets the complicated world we live in. Augustine, says Smith, is the patron saint of restless hearts–a guide who has been there, asked our questions, and knows our frustrations and failed pursuits. Augustine spent a lifetime searching for his heart’s true home and he can help us find our way. Many of us hope Kanye can do the same and are paying attention to his confessions in Jesus Is King.

‘What makes Augustine a guide worth considering,’ says Smith, ‘is that he knows where home is, where rest can be found, what peace feels like, even if it is sometimes ephemeral and elusive along the way.’ First impressions of Jesus is King, is that Mr West can do the same. Let’s take Use This Gospel for a paradigm:

Use this gospel for protection
It’s a hard road to Heaven
We call on your blessings
In the Father, we put our faith
King of the kingdom
Our demons are tremblin’
Holy angels defendin’
In the Father, we put our faith

A lot of damaged souls, I done damaged those
And in my arrogance, took a camera pose
Caught with a trunk of Barry Manilows
They sing a different tune when the slammer close
From the concrete grew a rose
They give you Wraith talk, I give you faith talk
Blindfolded on this road, watch me faith walk
Just hold on to your brother when his faith lost

Both Yeezy and Augustine address believers and skeptics alike. Jamie Smith’s book shows how Augustine’s timeless wisdom speaks to the worries and struggles of contemporary life, covering topics such as ambition, sex, friendship, freedom, parenthood, and death. These are all topics Kanye has been covering in recent interviews and bearing witness to the truth about. Ultimately we must judge him by his fruits. But so far he’s been setting an exmple for fathers, for good friends and Christians. From baptising and inspiring his children to encouraging his wife in the faith and modesty. Even more surprising, he recommends ‘orphans’ in The USA, which he calls black people, should move out to the country and buy land. Encouraging self ownership and a stewardship that would do Wendell Berry proud. This is the more positive side of his political attacks on The Democrats and their culture of food stamps and mental slavery. If heeded, this cultural icon might serve to positively unsettle America.

“But to give is not to do. The money is given in lieu of action, thought, care, time. And it is no remedy for the fragmentation of character and consciousness that is the consequence of specialization. At the simplest, most practical level, it would be difficult for most of us to give enough in donations to good causes to compensate for, much less remedy, the damage done by the money that is taken from us and used destructively by various agencies of the government and by the corporations that hold us in captive dependence on their products. Most important, even if we could give enough to overbalance the official and corporate misuse of our money, we would still not solve the problem: the willingness to be represented by money involves a submission to the modern divisions of character and community. The remedy safeguards the disease.”
― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

Kanye has shown flashes of inspiration, which we hope suggests he will see modern economism as too small. And unfit to make a home:

The following excerpt from Wendell Berry’s book What Matters? offers a way home. He distinguishes between chrematistics, the study of individual accumulation, from the fuller oikonomia. Which is the study of collective provisioning. This is from the foreword by Herman Daly:

“What do we economists have to learn from Wendell Berry? Many things, but here I will mention only two. First is a definitional correction regarding the basic nature of our subject matter—exactly what reality matters most to our economic life and why? Second, what mode of thinking does this reality require of us in order to understand it as well as possible, without seducing us into spurious substitutes for honest ignorance?

The definitional correction goes back to Aristotle and, while somewhat retained by the classical economists, seems to have been dropped from the current neoclassical canon. Aristotle distinguished “oikonomia” from “chrematistics.” Oikonomia is the science or art of efficiently producing, distributing, and maintaining concrete use values for the household and community over the long run.

Chrematistics is the art of maximizing the accumulation by individuals of abstract exchange value in the form of money in the short run. Although our word “economics” is derived from oikonomia, its present meaning is much closer to chrematistics. The word chrematistics is currently relegated to unabridged dictionaries, but the reality to which it refers is everywhere present and is frequently and incorrectly called economics.

Wendell Berry is, I believe, urging us to correct our definition of economics by restoring to it the meaning of oikonomia and freeing it from confusion with, and excessive devotion to, chrematistics. In replacing chrematistics by oikonomia we not only refocus on a different reality but also embrace the purposes served within that different reality—community, frugality, efficiency, and long-term stewardship of particular places.

Where today do we find chrematistics masquerading as economics? Certainly in the recent Wall Street fiasco—“selling a bet on a debt [as] an asset” as Wendell succinctly put it. It is amazing that people who have recently engaged in this disastrous stupidity on such a massive scale still have any credibility at all! Yet belief in “free markets” as the philosopher’s stone that alchemically transmutes the dross of chrematistics into the gold of oikonomia remains strong.

Other examples of chrematistics at work include monopoly pricing, tax evasion, subsidies, rent seeking, forced mobility of labor, cheap labor from union busting and illegal immigration, off-shoring, mergers, hostile takeovers, usury, and bullying litigation—not to mention the airlines’ successful shifting on to their customers the labor previously done by former travel agents, check-in clerks, and baggage handlers.

Externalizing environmental costs—shifting the cost of depletion and pollution from the producer to the general public, the future, and other species—is probably the most common and most disastrous chrematistic maneuver. The unaccounted costs range from irksome noise, to mountaintop removal and filling up of valleys with toxic tailings, to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, to global climate change and species extinction.

Confusing oikonomia and chrematistics, misdefining the proper subject matter of economics, has deadly consequences. In the face of all this it is hard to remember that there are still some people doing useful work and creating wealth to really benefit the community. Chrematistics has not entirely displaced oikonomia, but it is trying to. In Wendell’s terms the little economy is trying to impose its puny logic on the mysteries and complexities of the Great Economy.”

Later on in the same book, Berry laments the cult of ‘mobility’ which has the effect of uprooting us, cutting off the sources of our life and leaving us homeless. Or ‘orphaned’ as Kanye has labelled the problem. Mr West has described this as a problem for black people, who are trapped particularly in big cities, but in sad fact it’s a human problem. The revolutionary power of Berry is in naming the problem and offering real solutions. Back to the family and the land, living and working in harmony with the great economy. Ye is starting to flirt with some of these solutions and we hope he marries them down the line.

Smith, in his book On The Road, vividly and colorfully brings Augustine to life for 21st-century readers, offering a fresh articulation of Christianity that speaks to our deepest hungers, fears, and hopes. Kanye’s Jesus Is King does the same for those who otherwise don’t have the ears to listen.

Who Was Our Spiritual Ancestor, Saint Augustine?

St Augustine was an influential Christian theologian from Numidia (modern-day Algeria). Augustine converted to Christianity in 386 and wrote extensively on The Faith in The Living God.

Augustine was born in Souk Ahras in the Roman province of Numidia. His family were ethnic north Africans (the Berbers), but the area was heavily Romanized, and they spoke Latin at home. His father was a pagan, but his mother was a devout Christian.

His mother had a strong influence on the young Augustine, but to her disappointment, Augustine left his Christian background and joined the Manichean sect, founded by the prophet Mani in 240. He also fell in with friends who followed a hedonist approach to life. He also remembers an incident when a youth – stealing fruit from an orchard because he liked the idea of rebelling. This period stuck in his mind and helped formulate his idea of the inherently sinful nature of man. Despite his wayward lifestyle, he developed an interest in philosophy and was impressed by the writings of Cicero. Augustine became an expert in Latin and rhetoric.

It’s here we see our first clear parallels with Kanye. The hedonist rapper who had it all- the LA riches, worldwide fame, paparazzi and arrogance of a brilliant youth. Let’s see how far he’s coming by contrasting the lyrics from The New Workout Plan with those from the recent new album, Jesus Is King:

You just popped in the Kanye West
Get right for the summer workout tape
And ladies if you follow these instructions exactly

You might bear to pull you a rapper, a NBA player
Man, at least a dude wit’ a car
So first of all we gon’ work on the stomach
Nobody wants a little tight ass!1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and get them sit ups right and
Tuck your tummy tight and do your crunches like this
Give head, stop breathe, get up, check your weave
Don’t drop the blunt and disrespect the weed
Pick up your son and don’t disrespect your seed
It’s a party tonight and ooh she’s so excited
Tell me who’s invited, you, your friends and my dick
What’s scary to me is Henny makes girls look like Halle Berry to me
So excuse me miss, I forgot your name

And God Is:

Jesus brought a revolution
All the captives are forgiven
Time to break down all the prisons
Every man, every woman
There is freedom from addiction
Jesus, You have my soul
Sunday Service on a roll
All my idols, let ’em go
All the demons, let ’em know
This a mission, not a show
This is my eternal soul
This my kids, this the crib
This my wife, this my life
This my God-given right
Thank you, Jesus, won the fight

Kanye’s recent lessons about the limitations of ‘the good life’ and false idols are important. If used correctly they can help us to cut down a number of idols of what Kierkegaard calls The Present Age. Love needs to be our motivation. And long suffering love,if it is to prove genuine:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” – Galatians 5:22

“Our age is essentially one of understanding and reflection, without passion, momentarily bursting into enthusiasm, and shrewdly relapsing into repose. … There is no more action or decision in our day than there is perilous delight in swimming in shallow waters.” — Kierkegaard, Søren, Two Ages: A Literary Review

In his late teens, Yeezy’s spiritual ancestor Augustine developed an affair with a young woman from Carthage. She gave birth to his illegitimate son Adeodatus in 372. This was his first true love, but one scuppered by his mother’s plans that he marry someone else in his social class. However, the influence of this romance lasted and places an indelible impact upon the work of this saint, who is a lover in spirit.

Kanye has went down a different route here and offers a better way for many of us. Instead of becoming austere about sex in toto, we need to realise that such a power needs to be harnessed towards it’s rightful end. Which is within loving Marriage between one man and one woman. As a married man, in a high profile and very public marriage he can serve as a powerful witness for this Holy Mystery. Against the backdrop of a loving relationship and long obedience in the same direction, along with what St Paul has to say in Ephesians 5:22-28, Kanye asking his wife to come with him on this journey and even asking her to dress modestly is evidently an act of love for her and desire for her good.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

2Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

This form of love is as scandalous and foolish to the world as ever, but closer to God’s foolishness, which is greater than the world’s wisdom.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” – Song of Solomon 8:6

In 386, at the age of 31, St Augustine made a formal conversion to Christianity. Augustine was inspired by reading about the life of Saint Anthony of the Desert. He also reported hearing an inner voice which told him to take up the Bible and read. He was drawn to a passage by St Paul which was aimed at non-believers becoming transformed. The passage Augustine refers to was Romans chapter 13, verses 13 and 14,

“Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

He wrote an account of his conversion in his text Confessions .

Augustine was baptized with his son by Bishop Ambrose in April 388. His mother died shortly after his event. Afterwards, they returned home to Africa, where his son Adeodatus died shortly after. Augustine gave away his wealth to the poor and converted his house into a monastic foundation for himself and a group of like-minded Christians.

In 391, he became the Bishop of Hippo and for the next 39 years became an influential preacher, often speaking against his former religion of Manichaeism.

In the last half of his life, Augustine was noted for his piety – shunning his former hedonistic lifestyle and living a life of simplicity and devotion. He also continued to write. Important works included ‘City of God’ which was written in response to the sack of Rome and argued the real religion was in spirit and not in temporal cities and the religion of the world. To Augustine, the fall of Rome was of little consequence. Augustine was an apologist for the Catholic Church but argued that the Church was not always in a state of grace, but could attract bad and wicked people. The other reality is the invisible Church of spirit which is ruled by love, grace and goodness. Ultimately, this religion of spirit would triumph over worldly empires which were influenced by human pride.

This triumphant tone and swagger is echoed in West’s Selah.

They say the week start on Monday
But the strong start on Sunday
Won’t be in bondage to any man
John 8:33
We the descendants of Abraham
Ye should be made free
John 8:36
To whom the son set free is free indeed
He saved a wretch like me

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, He is wonderful

If you woke, then wake up
With Judas, kiss and make up
Even with the bitter cup
Forgave my brothers and drank up
Did everything but gave up
Stab my back, I can’t front

Still we win, we prayed up
Even when we die, we raise up (Hallelujah)
Ain’t no wantin’, no, we need it
The powers that be done been greedy
We need ours by this evening
No white flag or no treaty
We got the product, we got the tools
We got the minds, we got the youth
We goin’ wild, we on the loose
People is lying, we are the truth
Everything old shall now become new
The leaves’ll be green, bearing the fruit
Love God and our neighbor, as written in Luke
The army of God and we are the truth

– Selah, Jesus Is King

Augustine was also influential in the development of educational practices. He advocated a more liberal approach to education. Combining discipline with teachers who can share an interest in the subject and encourage students to develop a critical awareness and think for themselves.

From his early days, with The College Dropout, to questioning the idolatry of sacrificing black Americans at the altar of The Democrats’ political platform, to now Jesus is King, Kanye has, in his own way, been encouraging his fans to develop a more critical awareness and think for themselves.

The New Vandals

In the spring of 430, the Vandals – who had previously sacked Rome, invaded Roman Africa. Augustine fell ill and died on 28 August 430. The Vandals returned to Hippo and burnt much of the city – though Augustine’s library survived.

In an age of new social media vandals, seeking to destroy or ‘cancel’ anyone we can hope that the legacy of Jesus is King is a fruitful one and that Kanye educates people, whom his considerable influence extends over. We must admit that many of these people will be possessed by ‘The Madness Of Crowds’ as recently described by Douglas Murray.

So, Kanye’s role in sharing The Gospel could prove vital. These are people whose hearts and minds are closed. Kanye, as an Icon of popular culture, has a chance to get through to them and open the veil. Moreover, these are people who may not have had The Gospel put to them elsewhere in ways which meaningfully speak to them. May God use Kanye to light a fire in these unbelievers.

There’s a lot in the recent long-form interview that we’re reflecting on. One thing that pleasantly surprised me, but which is clear, is that Kanye sees with clarity the need for something like ‘new urbanism’ in building communities.


He rightfully understands community should be built literally around the church, schools and other esteemed Christian institutions. This was how towns were created in Christian France, Italy, etc before the spirit of 1789 took over, if I might paraphrase from Os Guinness’ excellent book on Liberty.

Elon Musk was right in his description of Kanye as one who looks at the bigger picture, and acts accordingly-

“Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t […] He fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose. In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.” [448]

Mr West mentions the importance of following the call and serving as a husband and father, at a time of major crisis for fatherhood in The USA, and elsewhere. This was documented long ago by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and luminaries such as Christopher Lasch, who decried our culture of narcissism and idols of ‘progress’.

We demand too much of life, too little of ourselves.
― Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations

This idolatrous culture includes the popular sexual revolution myth that sexual perversion is progress. Closer to truth was our Augustine, who recognised that, politically speaking, sex is often a means of ‘libido dominandi’, enslavement and control. Unfortunately, as Larry Elder constantly reminds us, the problems with fatherhood or a lack thereof, are more pronounced now than in living memory… Kanye is seeking to return to deep roots to replenish the culture and may help others get out. Get out of the sunken place of The Present Age and it’s dogmas. This is a culture which he says he previously worshipped, including everything from sex to social media likes and now sees it for what it is, an idol.

In an age of egotistical rights claims and herd mentality, Ye is embodying and standing for responsibility.

“The notion of obligations comes before that of rights, which is subordinate and relative to the former. A right is not effectual by itself, but only in relation to the obligation to which it corresponds, the effective exercise of a right springing not from the individual who possesses it, but from other men who consider themselves as being under a certain obligation towards him. Recognition of an obligation makes it effectual. An obligation which goes unrecognized by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much.

It makes nonsense to say that men have, on the one hand, rights, and on the other hand, obligations. Such words only express differences in point of view. The actual relationship between the two is as between object and subject. A man, considered in isolation, only has duties, amongst which are certain duties towards himself. A man left alone in the universe would have no rights whatever, but he would have obligations.”
― Simone Weil, The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties towards Mankind

There is a particularly acute need for this in an America infected with the lies of Critical Theory and follies of shallow individualism.

Key amongst those responsibilities, and what has frequently come up with Kanye, is being a father. “If the father is not in the home, the boy will find a father in the streets. I saw it in my generation and every generation before me, and every one since. If the streets raise you, then the judge becomes your mother and prison becomes your home.” –Denzel Washington

Kanye is embodying different archetypes of the mature masculine, described in Robert L Moore’s books: King, Warrior, Magician and Lover. And by limiting himself, after “Five years of Marriage”, as he reminds us, he is becoming paradoxically more free from the addictions he describes in the interview and which were common place in his earlier musical catalogue.

“What the Addict is seeking (though he doesn’t know it) is the ultimate and continuous “orgasm,” the ultimate and continuous “high.” This is why he rides from village to village and from adventure to adventure. This is why he goes from one woman to another. Each time his woman confronts him with her mortality, her finitude, her weakness and limitations, hence shattering his dream of this time finding the orgasm without end—in other words, when the excitement of the illusion of perfect union with her (with the world, with God) becomes tarnished—he saddles his horse and rides out looking for renewal of his ecstasy. He needs his “fix” of masculine joy. He really does. He just doesn’t know where to look for it. He ends by looking for his “spirituality” in a line of cocaine. Psychologists talk about the problems that stem from a man’s possession by the Addict as “boundary issues.” For the man possessed by the Addict, there are no boundaries. As we’ve said, the Lover does not want to be limited. And, when we are possessed by him, we cannot stand to be limited.”

Whilst there are many deep and important parallels between ‘Saint Pablo’ and Saint Augustine, Kanye is a different kind of man in many ways to Augustine, and speaks to a new and different audience. Surely, he has a ways to go in his pilgrimage but we would do well to encourage our brother in his burgeoning faith and others on the path, as much as when it’s lost: “…Just hold on to your brother when his faith lost.”

The spirit of the lover and the father is in Saint Augustine and Kanye, both, and each serves our Lord’s purposes in a timeless fashion. Of vital importance, each has found fulfillment in God-Manhood.

“We have everything we need.” – Kanye West, Jesus I King

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” – St Augustine

The Prodigal Son?

Earthly fatherhood, or spiritual fathers in faith are not the end of the road however. Beyond each, as Ye and Augustine both point to, is The Father who welcomes us home. Each man has played the part of prodigal son but these fortunate ones have returned to The Father.

Father, I stretch
Stretch my hands to you
– Follow God, Jesus Is King

The parable of The Prodigal Son begins with the statement that a man had two sons, and the younger of them asks his father to give him his share of the estate. The implication is that the son could not wait for his father’s death for his inheritance, he wanted it immediately. The father agrees and divides his estate between both sons.

Upon receiving his portion of the inheritance, the younger son travels to a distant country and wastes all his money in extravagant living. Immediately thereafter, a famine strikes the land; he becomes desperately poor and is forced to take work as a swineherd. (This, too, would have been abhorrent to Jesus’ Jewish audience, who considered swine unclean animals.) When he reaches the point of envying the food of the pigs he is watching, he finally comes to his senses:

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”— Luke 15:17–20, King James Version

This implies the father was hopefully watching for the son’s return.

The son does not even have time to finish his rehearsed speech, since the father calls for his servants to dress him in a fine robe, a ring, and sandals, and slaughter the “fattened calf” for a celebratory meal.

The older son, who was at work in the fields, hears the sound of celebration, and is told about the return of his younger brother. He is not impressed, and becomes angry. He also has a speech for his father:

And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”— Luke 15:29–30, King James Version

“I told God I’d be back in a second
Man it’s so hard not to act reckless.” – Can’t Tell Me Nothin’

Looks like Kanye finally came back home:

Use this gospel for protection
It’s a hard road to Heaven
We call on your blessings
In the Father, we put our faith
King of the kingdom
Our demons are tremblin’
Holy angels defendin’
In the Father, we put our faith – Use This Gospel, Jesus Is King

The parable of The Prodigal Son concludes with the father explaining that because the younger son had returned, in a sense, from the dead, celebration was necessary:

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”— Luke 15:32, King James Version

“For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.

Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

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