Devotional #14: Edward the prodigal

“Have you always stayed with Carlisle, then?” I wondered.
“Almost always.” He put his hand lightly on my waist and pulled me with him as he walked through the door….
Edward didn’t say any more as we walked down the hall, so I asked, “Almost?”
He sighed, seeming reluctant to answer. “Well, I had a typical bout of rebellious adolescence—about ten years after I was…born…created, whatever you want to call it. I wasn’t sold on this life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time.”
“Really?” I was intrigued, rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been….
“That doesn’t repulse you?”
“Why not?”
“I guess…it sounds reasonable.”
He barked a laugh, more loudly than before. We were at the top of the stairs now, in another paneled hallway.
“From the time of my new birth,” he murmered, “I had the advantage of knowing what everyone around me was thinking, both human and non-human alike. That’s why it took me ten years to defy Carlisle—I could read his perfect sincerity, understand exactly why he lived the way he did.
“It took me only a few years to return to Carlisle and recommit to his vision. I thought I would be exempt from the…depression…that accompanies a conscience. Because I knew the thoughts of my prey, I could pass over the innocent and pursue only the evil. If I followed a murderer down a dark alley where he stalked a young girl—if I saved her, then surely I wasn’t so terrible.”
“But as time went on, I began to see the monster in my eyes. I couldn’t escape the debt of so much human life taken, no matter how justified. And I went back to Carlisle and Esme. They welcomed me back like a prodigal. It was more than I deserved.”
Twilight – Chapter 16

There is so much in this short excerpt I’d like to go over, so I’ll try to do this coherently. First I’d like to deal with the obvious subject of Edward’s rebellion. Even after knowing his father’s heart so well, hearing his thoughts and knowing his pure motives, Edward chose to sin. Edward said “I know better than you, Father. I know I can make this life work for me on my own. There is a better way than you know.”
Sound familiar? This is essentially, exactly what mankind told God on the day we chose to sin for the first time. “We know the truth, we know better than you. I can make this work my way.”

But it didn’t work. Even with Edward’s gift, even with his “selective” diet of only the most villanous of society: murderers and rapists, even purging these from society was not enough to relieve him of his sin. Some may ask “Why is this any different than capital punishment?” Well the answer, in my eyes, is simple. Justice, if it is really justice, must be impartial. Edward, serving as judge, jury, and executioner, would never be impartial. Edward, though well-intentioned, had to much to gain from the situation to even be considered a vigilante. He was wrong, and he could not escape it.

Edward repents. He changes his mind, and he comes home, returning to his father, in his own words, a prodigal. I can imagine how that conversation began, “Carlisle, I have sinned. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son” Suddenly, killing the fatted calf takes on new imagery. It is now an even greater symbol of celebration as it is Edward’s return to his guiltless diet.

Having experienced the bad fruit of his rebellion, he is more solid than ever in his life of abstinence. He finds himself the savior of Bella, a human girl, in the same “dark alley” situation (see Chapter 8), but he flees the temptation to kill the offender as he would’ve in his past life. Readers of Midnight Sun know that Edward employs Carlisle’s help to have the villain apprehended by police.

We all sin, and we all fall short of the standard God has set (Romans 3:23). The question is, do we turn back and go back home? Do we admit our failure, learn from it, and resolve to not go there again?


~ by sarahthebaker on December 11, 2009.

One Response to “Devotional #14: Edward the prodigal”

  1. So good. I thought the same things, but haven’t written them down. You explained so clearly! Love it!

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