Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forgiving a father

I forgot I had a blog... And here it is! I need to tell a story of something I had the privilege to witness the other day. One of our neighbors' dad was visiting from overseas where he now lives. He is in his fifties but has a little baby girl around a year old. He was married before with our neighbors' mom but has since remarried and started a new family overseas and is now father to a toddler again. Little children are such a great and natural way to connect to people. We spent hours together the past few days because the kids saw each other and started playing peek-a-boo and what not, so delighted to see each other. That is how I got to hear part of his story... Saturday he was waiting to see his youngest son, now 18 years old. He hadn't seen him in 5 years because the last time he was over here the son had refused to see his father but now he was on his way over to meet with him. That gave me chills just to think about it. What a big and important moment for these two. To choose to get reconciled with your parents and your past is one of the most important and fundamental things for your well-being and peace in life. This is something I am learning more and more... As the car pulled up in front of our house I snuck inside to leave them to themselves in this intimate moment but I saw the whole thing through our front window. I saw them embracing on the street and holding on to each other for a long time and I was bawling inside. The next day I asked him about it and how the time with his son had been and found out it hadn't been that great after that hug. They had spent the whole day in silence pretty much and the son had refused to talk to his father at all. But finally some emotions had been stirred up and some anger had leaked out and they had been able to talk about some of their hurt feelings. Apparently something had been said 5 years ago that had caused this 5-year spell of silence. Now they were able to bring it out in the light and explain - as adults - what had been going on at that time of stress and frustration etc. The father was able to say to his son the magic and freeing words: "It wasn't your fault". And the son was able to see his father in a new light as a failing human being in need of forgiveness and grace. I love stories like this!

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