Thursday, November 8, 2012
An Open Letter to A Son Much Loved
As I started to write this you and Sarah are about to be married I got side track and now this is over a month waiting to be finished . I am so proud of you and the person that you have become before me eyes. I am going to take a couple of moments to reflect on grace experienced in the interactions of a father and a son. The moments of a childhood lived out in the middle of a busy life.
I remember seeing you for the first time in the Warsaw Hospital we were living in Perry at that point. It was a small town hospital. There was wire-mesh in the window. It was a scene out of a 1950's sitcom. They didn't allow me in the delivery room, after all it was small town america in the 1980's. The thought that kept circulating in my mind was: why in the world would anyone want to break the window of a nursery? It was a hard entry into planet earth for you my son...but you were more than enough for the fight. It seems like that has been the theme since...you took life by force of will.
I remember when you about 4 and you had a very small two wheel bicycle...you made it very clear that you wanted the training wheels off. You would not take no for an answer. That began a process of you learning how to ride that silly thing. The first time around the block was ride two feet and fall off...two feet more feet and then eating dirt yet again. By the end of that first block you knew how to ride. I have always admired that kind of tenacity. Sometimes that tenacity was aimed in the exact wrong direction. I could not fault you on the commitment just the goal sometimes. There was prayer mixed in from my place as a father...prayer that the goals could be directed by a Father much wiser than this child of Adam.
Interactions with you over the years comes to mind...watching you mature and grow into the person after God's heart. There were always those teachable moments. You were watching more times than I realized. Not all the moments were moments of great spiritual success. There were many times when my emotion got in the way of seeing Jesus in me. I wish I had done that one better at times. I hope that I have been able to communicate, among the issues that may need to be worked out through in therapy, trust in the beneficence of a God that sees and hears all our moments. A God that knows our hearts because His Son's beats in time with the rhythm of ours. That is the most important piece...everything else will worked out in time.
I am so glad that you did not have to depend on me alone to teach you about the important issues of life. Your mother was so much a part of bringing you to this point. Her tenacity and grace are reflected in your eyes and heart. She more than I can be credited with creating in you a love of learning and of looking deeply into the people around you. Both she and you share an ability to see not just what people are saying but what is in their hearts.
There were so many opportunities for things to have gone off track. Yet here you are starting your own family with career started and love found. What mercy and grace has operated on so many levels to bring life to this point. Thank you, Jesus...
As I write this, I can almost hear your laugh with your inevitably come back line. Have I ever told you that you laugh just like Uncle Jim?...only a thousand times probably. How did you end up with the laugh of my oldest and dearest friend on planet Earth? Your laughter is evidence of a God with a sense of humor...chuckling with me down through the years.
The last little while we have spent time walking the dogs together. Why did we get those small ponies again? It is a time when we can talk about our days of work. Sometimes I sound like a broken record...trust that God is in the mix...we are not alone...God is working even when we can't or don't see it. I am almost certain that you have caught on to me by now. In our discussions I am reminding myself as much as you...of a God that is on the side of his people. In the simple days of our lives we work out our salvation by following a step at a time trusting God to lead, guide and give strength for the day. Keep up that walk a day at a time God is with you each step of the way...
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.