Stories of Comfort and Hope

If Not Now When…

A patient was telling me how her brother had been estranged from her family.  Words had been spoken.  Hearts had been hurt.  Lines had been drawn.  Nine years went by while each side nursed their wounds and replenished their ammunition just in case an opportunity arose to fire a few more salvos at the other side.

Then there was a family wedding.  An invitation was sent to the brother not expecting that anything would come of it.  But the brother and his family came.  There was much laughter and warmth.  Cousins that had never met each other got to talk to each other.  Family history and family stories were shared.  A good time was had by all.

Every time I hear stories like this I am encouraged to believe that truces can be declared.  Trenches can be abandoned and former enemies can meet in the no man’s land between the trenches.  Energy can now be expended in reclaiming what had been lost.  Love can be allowed to flow and flower again.  And I wonder why did it take so long?  Why did this go on for years and years?  Why did it take a wedding to end the war?  Why were hearts subjected to so much grief and pain so needlessly?

While you might be pondering such questions in your family and grieving over a child who is estranged from you the question on your mind might be what is going to change this situation?  Will it take a wedding?  A graduation?  A funeral?  I don’t know if there is any particular family situation that is required to break the deadlock that might exist in your family.  I think someone has to make a move.  Someone has to try something.  Someone has to believe if I don’t say something now when will I say it?  If I don’t say something now how will I live with the regret of the opportunity passing by and the other person never knows how much I really loved him?

To Be A Mother…

In my last post I talked about how being a mother means walking around with your heart outside of your body.  A friend sent me a mom’s thoughts on this issue that further explains the vulnerability,  the sacrifice, and the joys of parenthood.  Her thoughts go like this:

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.  I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.  I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom – I had never been puked on.  Pooped on.  Chewed on.  Peed on.  I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.  I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom – I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.  Or give  shots.  I never looked into teary eyes and cried.  I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.  I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom – I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put him down.  I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt.  I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.  I never knew that I could love someone so much.  I never knew I wouild love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom – I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside of my body.  I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.  I didn’t know the bond between a mother and her child.  I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom – I had never gotten up in the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.  I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.  I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.

Wounded Parents Wonder

None of us ever thought being a parent would be easy.  We knew our children would do impulsive things.  We knew they would make mistakes some of which would have greater consequences than others.  We knew there would be acts of defiance.  What we haven’t always been able to deal with are those times when our child has done something that ruptures our relationship.  Something that sends them to that far country Jesus talks about in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  I am speaking to this issue on February 15th in Oshkosh at the Men of His Word Conference.  Please join with me on this blog as I and the attendees of the workshop continue the conversation on how to minister to wounded parents and their children who have wounded them.