Palm Sunday and Holy Week are not my favorite liturgical season. I endure them in anticipation of Easter. And so, this year I’ve frittered away the final days of Lent and Holy Week binge-watching The Heart Guy, an Australian television series. I have a soft spot for Australia, and Australian television programs give me the sensation of being there, if only for the duration of the show.
The Heart Guy isn’t brilliant television, but it’s fun and harmless. It chronicles the misadventures of an arrogant and infallible Sydney heart surgeon, Hugh Knight. Dr. Knight has bad boy habits involving drugs and other misbehavior that result in his surgery license being temporarily suspended. The medical board sentences Knight to a year’s probation at a country hospital in a town called Whyhope. The aptly named Whyhope also happens to be the town where Dr. Knight grew up and where his family still lives.
Knight returns to Whyhope with his tail between his legs and quickly begins the process of re-integrating into his family and community. Complications ensue.
At a deeper level, however, The Heart Guy is a retelling of the parable of The Prodigal Son as found in Luke 15:11-32. Continue reading “An Australian Parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son”