Saturday, November 27, 2010

A good home

4:06 p.m. Today's project was to visit our son at the recovery home where he is completing the first phase of the Veterans' Administration alcohol and drug addiction program.
The location on the west end of San Bernardino isn't the city's finest address, but the residents all have chores to do, so the house looks better than the surrounding ones. Everyone is friendly. They remembered me as I came in, from last Tuesday's family meeting/confrontation session. I hope I'm not like the Pharisees of Jesus' day "who love salutations in the marketplaces" (Mark 12:38), but I do love to say "hi" to people, all kinds of people, and give them a big smile!
I was guided to to the back patio where my son and his fiancee were waiting at the door of the office. There I signed in and surrendered my cell phone to the supervisor. He said, "It's not the phone itself, but the cameras, because of federal regulations." That was fine with me, because I wanted to concentrate on my son.
We hugged and went inside to a long table where I gave him his birthday gifts. I had a package still in its shipping wrap, which I feel was the Lord who kept me from opening it and re-packaging it, because I could have been a shady family member trying to smuggle in drugs. But I doubt that Swiss Colony, purveyor of the smoked beef rolls and cheddar that our son gets for his birthday every year, is shipping drugs aound the world!
The other gift I brought was an album of our son's childhood, from infancy to preschool years, Pack 127 Harvest Cub Scouts and Webelos, his soccer team, time with his deceased grandmas and his cousins, and of course with Steve, our younger kids, and I. He remembered every picture and what he was doing at the time. It was a pleasant conversation starter for the three of us, but served a greater purpose: to show him that even if he feels he was pushed aside for all of the babies that came along later, he was loved and we gave him lots of good activities that Steve and I participated in with him. We were den leaders for his Cub Scout den and Steve went on the father-son outings with him during Webelos. I hauled all of the younger ones to his soccer games, and also to see him run track and play football later on. He attended the Christian school where I taught, so we spent plenty of time together, doing lots of talking about the Lord and practicing his memory verses as we traveled around town. I also homeschooled him for one year so he could be home with the rest of us every day.
Only God can remove pain, hurt, disappointment and the feelings of being left out or rejected. Bitterness and resentment destroy a person from within. As I read or heard somewhere , "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." As believers, we need to have a different take on childhood hurts. We need to give them to God, forgive the offenders (or presumed offenders) from the heart.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:35,
So My Heavenly Father also will do to (punish) you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
My hope soared just now when I received the following text from our son's fiancee:
___has become a different person and I am amazed at how he has changed his attitude about drinking and about life in general. I am very proud of him.
That makes two of us!!

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