All the tears did a fine job of clearing the air. They all feel lighter. But, it’s like a ton of bricks were unloaded from Alex and his mom. Just underneath his pain loomed a deep love and respect for her. He had turned inward years ago and kept his pain alive. That put his mom in harm’s way. It prevented his own authenticity. He didn’t tell the truth to his mom. He penalized her for being in the dark. Not knowing how much he hurt inside. He sees himself as a fool now. Although his mother is not perfect he had to acknowledge her sacrifices for him. Admit she never failed to put him first. It had been years since he looked at her without bitterness. Today he takes in her beauty. Her love for her son is radiant. Alex understood how he disrespected her. He vowed to be a good son.
The conversation flowed freely. All distance between family members is gone. They’re connecting in a way nobody thought likely. It was the dawning of something more intimate. Leelee leaning on the sofa arm with her legs pulled up squeezed his hand as Alex took hold of her. Eyes do talk. Oh, to be a fly on the cornea to hear what their pupils were saying. Looking into one another’s eyes melted previous versions of their love. These events would prove dynamic. Life altering. Good became great. Love chased fear into obedience. A baby is safe, a man is born, a mother is set free, a father gains a son, a mom-to-be is thrilled, and her mom is thankful.
Talk about a Kodak moment; they all sat non-verbally. Peaceful smiles spoke softly. Leelee politely interrupted, dad she said, when do you think God first gets involved in our lives? You must have a reason for asking that question, he offered. Yeah, I do. I sensed God is near from the moment I suspected I was pregnant. I took my pill. It seems improbable for me to be with child. I wanted to conceive but Alex wanted to wait. When I look at what my being pregnant has done for us all I wonder. I mean, I have questions.
I believe mankind is Gods’ idea. Like marriage, having children is His idea too. I think before we are formed in the womb He is right there with us. We come from Him. We return to Him when life is over. We are all on loan to one another. Children are a heritage. An inheritance given to us by our heavenly father. We are responsible to remind each other of that and to point our kids to back to Him. Leelee stated, I’ve sensed His presence throughout my life. Sometimes more real than others. Sometimes I didn’t know if He is there. This time, especially when Alex rushed me to the hospital, something so real, so definitive happened. I knew He was more than with me. It’s like He was in me, through me, not just around me.
Her mom spoke. That’s yours Leelee. All yours. Nobody can ever take that from you. Your faith and experience are teaching you things of the Spirit. No bible class can ever give you what you obtained since this all happened. Doubt can be a problem. Even for believers. It’s in times like these we own our faith. You advance from teachings to conceiving. You move from ideas about God to the reality of God. John piped in, God isn’t someone to call on, only when there is trouble. Nor is He number one on some lists of priorities. He is our life. He is limited only by our attitudes, lack of willingness to recognize Him, and our understanding of His ways.
Alex couldn’t hold back any longer. He asked, then why do bad things happen? John said, bad things don’t come from God Alex. But if He controls everything He has to allow it, right? This is a point of much controversy, John continues. Many people ask, why does a loving God do nothing when tragedy, suffering, and violence affects innocent people. I would submit a few questions of my own here, says John. People live without consulting with or inviting God into their everyday lives. They make choices from intellect and emotions. If things workout they take the credit but if things don’t workout they blame God.
Leelee and Grace are almost spellbound. John has never been this vocal. He’s seen as a wise man but the emotion and communication from him today is unusual, to say the least. When I look at the state of politics, John elaborates, even the state of the church at large, I see the results of our decisions. A choice is behind every action. Someone chooses to murder, rape, molest, steal. Gossip, exploitation, and humiliating other people are all choices. Christians who spew hate and judgment also do so by choice.
If God took our choices away from us we would be something other than human beings. Our ability to choose makes us different from every other form of creation. Alex quips, then why doesn’t He help us make better choices? With the patience of a man who has lived through decades of trial and error, John responds. What you have been experiencing through these past weeks is God breaking through years of being closed out. Do you think God suddenly became interested in you, Alex? Or do you think He has been there all along? Alex is perplexed. After a brief pause he answers, I know He has been there all along. You’re making choices now based on your awareness of His desire to be involved in your life.
Alex made eye contact with his mom. She had been silent the whole time. She smiled warmly at him. He asked, what do you think mom? I’ve learned something today, she replied. Several things actually. I think I want to spend some time reflecting on all I’ve heard. I will take some time and ask myself some questions before I make any statements. I do hope we can talk more about this. With that the parents decided it was time to go. The good-bye hugs were deeper than ever. There is no lack of love and affection among this tribe.
The Man Upstairs proved He resides with us. He’s not a distant lover or absentee father. He doesn’t attack to force his will. He will not withhold any good thing from us. He never wanted to be on the outside looking in. He wants to be known.
Marty will return next Friday!