Friday, June 12, 2009

New eyes

Sometimes I am just plain surprised by the immensity of my God. By His ability to know what is best for me, for my family, for the world. Even though I don't always understand, there is an intense peace and rest in knowing that He is in control of it all. That I can give it up and pass it over. That I can give Him my life, my pain, my joy. That He can take such devastation and turn it into beauty.

Remember a few posts back when I talked about my family? How I felt God pressing me to try to restore it? Yeah. Tall order there. I could give you some background. I won't. It doesn't really matter, what has happened before. I used to focus on it. I used to think about it, have flashbacks. I used to be tortured by memories. But I gave those up when I decided to pursue restoring the ruins of my family. I had to.

My father is at the crux of all of this. He is a good man, but a lousy father. I needed so much from him that he never gave. I still do. I long to be held by my daddy, to be comforted, to be cherished. It's just not in the cards. And that will hurt all of my life, but it won't steal my joy.

I've made an effort to pray for my father every single day. Not the prayer I used to pray- "Oh Lord, please change him." But a new prayer, a shift in my thinking- "Lord, please change ME so that it is easier to love him. Draw him to you, Lord. Call him. Let me be the catalyst for healing, God. Let me resore what has been ruined." This is a powerful prayer, ya'll. And one I don't take lightly. I believe my father's soul is riddled with hurt and pain. I believe his drinking is a way to avoid the world. I think he hears God's call, but doesn't want to do the hard work involved in getting right with Him.

And I love him. I love my father. I don't idolize him like I used to, but I cannot put into words how I love him. He is deeply flawed and selfish, but he is my earthly father. I was given to him for a reason. He was given to me for a reason.

Yes, I have grand ideas of saving him. Many people would look at him as a lost cause. He is 74, doesn't leave his home. His health is bad. He drinks all of the time. He has no friends. He can pass days without seeing another living soul. His life is his 4 walls and his bottle of whiskey.

But God sees beyond all of that. He sees the man he truly is. He sees past the wounds and the hurt and the drunkeness. He sees His creation. He sees, also, redemption.

And now, so do I. Because I am looking through God's eyes. Not my own.

I picked up the phone to call my father yesterday, because I felt compelled to. I expected, since it was early evening, to hear his slurred words. To put up with his dirty jokes, his nonsensical ramblings. But the voice that greeted me was clear, strong, and awake. His words were kind. His voice was soft with care at times, gruff with emotion at others. Yes, it was all about always. But that's okay. It IS all about him now.

It's about his soul, and his life, and where he is going. And I am willing to guide, to listen, and to pray. For as long as it takes.