A fresco on the wall at the Monastery of St. John near Athens, Greece, the Parable of the Prodigal Son is shown here in several scenes simultaneously. This is not unusual in iconography, for time is both compressed and expanded when the Eternal dimensions of Heaven are included within the icon’s exposition. Icons show us time at the end of time, when sequential time is superceded by God’s Eternity of “I AM.”
Although sin separates us from God and has the willing participation of those who do it, it is also always possible to “come to oneself” even if we have sinned often and deeply, if we are willing to change or repent without making excuse for our sins. Seeing ourselves unworthy of our intimate relationship with God because of those sins, if we draw near again to God in sincerity and humility, without boldness or presumption, then God accepts our repentance and makes us again members of His Household. Superficially this may seem unfair for those who do not sin so openly, but since we all share the same illness of pride, even if not obvious, we should be glad that God is merciful to others and to us.