Prodigal sons can teach us all a lesson

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2003

If you’ve ever voiced the complaint (be honest) that newspapers print only the bad news, go back and dig out Tuesday’s Times-Journal. At the bottom of Page One you’ll find the story of Kevin Derryberry.

Chances are, you’ve never met Kevin. But you should read his story anyway, because there’s something there that all of us should keep in mind next time we’re tempted to write someone off &045; especially someone close to us.

Kevin was something of a rock ‘n’ roll star with the group Telluride a few years back. You may not have heard of them, but they received a respectable share of airtime and flirted with rock’s big time. At any rate, they made enough of a name for themselves to tour and keep the bills paid for some 20 years.

By Kevin’s own admission, it was a heady lifestyle &045; playing concerts and living on the fringe of stardom, with all that that entailed. For a time he felt that he was living his childhood dream.

But the dream turned into a nightmare. Kevin became a self-confessed alcoholic who strayed far from his Christian family roots. At one point he was warned by doctors that he would be dead in six months if he did not quit drinking.

But here’s where the story takes an upbeat turn. The elder Derryberry never gave up on his son, although he must have prayed many a night with heavy heart for his prodigal son gone astray. He even enlisted the prayers of his Sunday school class, year after year after year.

Six years ago Kevin Derryberry walked away from the life he had come to know and returned to his father’s house.

We applaud the Derryberrys for having the courage to share their story. We hope that it will be a blessing to someone else. And we take comfort in knowing that even hopeless causes sometimes prove to be not so hopeless after all.