Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Card & A Prayer

There was a time in my life when finding a card for Father's Day was not easy. No one makes a card that says:
Your dad wasn't the greatest.
As a kid you were really messed up
By what he did and what he left undone.
(He was probably messed up as a kid by his dad)
That never really got worked out.
So as a kid I got messed up
By what you did and what you left undone.

Inside (left):
That's finally being worked out.
Because I'm making choices
Which is really hard work.
I know my ability to do this
Is only by the grace of
Our Father in Heaven

Inside (right):
So I'm trying to honour you both in some small way
As a way of deciding to do something different and say
I'm choosing to believe there were things behind the scenes
Which had a part to play
So thanks for what you were able to do


Happy Father's Day
For years this was my dilemma.

But through the Grace-empowered choices I made, I became a different person. I saw my father change as well, but that was neither my doing, nor did it seem very necessary to my own health anymore. It took time, but God worked it in me and my dad, and I am so very thankful for the place He has brought us both. In fact, Father's Day cards are now a joy to write and are filled with encouragement and honest thankfulness. And even on days not specifically set aside for the purpose, I find it a joy to honour my dad, like here in this blog post about Why I Love My Dad.

Today of all days I am thankful to my Heavenly Father because this particular difficult stretch of my own path now seems so many miles behind me, in my rear-view mirror. But, today of all days, I also grieve with those closest to me as we share our journeys alongside one another.

I grieve with them because this stretch of road we share is, for them, still so very rough. They've veered and screeched around it so many times, and still it remains inescapably in their way, challenging their driving skills. Challenging their patience; their faith. So I grieve with them, because they're doing the hard work of going through it, gripping the wheel tightly, knuckles white, brow furrowed, sweating as they navigate the bumps and ruts; the slick patches and the loose gravel which all threaten to send them careening off the road.

I grieve with them because I've been there; driven through that stretch of road.

How I long to take the wheel for them! Even for a moment...but this respite is not mine to give.

How I long to shout from my own window sage advice for navigating this trecherous path. This, far from being helpful, would only distract us both from our road ahead.

No, this is their road. Theirs alone. All I can offer is what helped me most on my own journey: the presence of a friend alongside who has already passed this mile marker. A friend who sees, understands, knows, cares, prays; loves. May this be of some comfort to them.

My only comfort; their only hope: they are not alone in their journey. The passenger seat next to them is occupied.

Join me, today, in a prayer for these weary travellers:
Heavenly Father
You who know all
You who offer tender guidance
Guard the path of these precious ones
These emasculated sons
These defiled daughters
May your Love so surround them
Your Peace so enfold them
May they find Your strength within them
To continue travelling on


~ cob

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