Today was one of our best …
One of the three was baptised.
Today was also briefly one of our worst …
Two chose not to come to the five baptisms held at our church today. Two arrived back bringing with them moods of black, shades of misery. They were given a choice stay here or return to their other home. They chose. They were sorely disappointed … again.
As I attempted to write, I shook, but the adrenaline rush has died down.
Why … because the man who was one who baptised my son today, has just been abused yet again for attempting to make his children’ voice heard; he’s attempted to grant a request that was going to cost him. He has once again showed them what a sacrificial parent looks like and he has been abused for it. The man who has been the best father these two could ever know, the man who is the best father my son has known, the man who spoke today in church about the stubbornness and stupidity of sheep has just been lectured and abused by two.
My husband, the best man I know, a man who daily becomes more Christlike was being abused by an individual whose defence mechanism is to swear, abuse and threaten violence.
Instead, we find ourselves holding onto the Rock as we are buffeted, beaten and bruised.
I’m not sure if you have some comprehension of what it must be like for these two whose voices are, once again heard, yet ignored. I know I don’t – it’s not something I’ve ever experienced. We’ve all experienced rejection at some point in our lives… not too many of us have had to experience it like this.
Our prayer for these two, all three of ours actually, each day is that they will come to a true and lasting knowledge of the Heavenly Father as their own; the Parent whose love is utterly sacrificial, the One who gave His most precious possession for them, the One who loves like no other, the One who is Faithful, the One whose word is True, the One who keeps His promises, the One who IS Love, the One who brings Peace, the One who is Life, the One who is Light, the One who is all in all, the One whose desire for them is Freedom.
How wonderful it is to have a Father who loves us, a Father who waits to welcome us home. How amazing that these two, witness this fortnightly.
The storm has passed.
We’ve cried together, we’ve clung together.
Our hearts have broken a little with theirs.
We aim to be a home where God’s grace, His mercy and His love softens us, makes us malleable, a home that houses sometimes broken hearts, a home of second, third and fourth chances. These things do not come easy.
We are a home where there resides a generous man who models Christ for us all daily. A man with a heart the size of our home – who loves us all.
Let us never forget that those we live with and interact with are eternal beings.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
These two are eternal souls.
They are peaceful again now.
They are happy again.
They know they are loved.
They are resting again.
They need Him.
We all need Him.
We are once again reminded of the words of Ann Voskamp:
Bless this nest, Lord,
of fragile things,
encircling the breakable and broken
in the ever warmth of Your wing,
in the sheltering shadow of Your face,
us the clinging ones,
You our clutch of hope,
singing to us the song