When I had my own private practice, I saw a lot of older people primarily. And of course I talk to everyone of my patients, having more time and social exuberance than most doctors. And on two seperate, almost identical occasions this funny thing happened. A sweet older lady would tell me horror stories of their bum sons who still live at home, left their wives for seemingly no reason, won’t get a job, are in and out of court for failure to pay child support, and here is the funny part. Both separate unrelated ladies telling me identical stories then would tell me how sweet and wonderful I was and that they would like me to date their son. On both occasions, upon hearing these stories of horrifying men, I would assume the best and try to change the subject and ask them, “Oh, how many sons do you have?” And they would reply, “Oh, just one”. Bahahaha. So funny. Just thought I’d give a chuckle today to start the day. 🙂
Beauty was a sweet girl who loved who she was because she could run and play and pick wildflowers to give her mom or the neighbor lady. She would cook bread and take it to her grandma. She was so happy she could do these things and felt happy inside. No one told her she was beautiful but she was, with a unique beauty that left impressions on the heart. As Beauty got older, she went to school and met The Ugly. These were the “popular” people who told themselves they were beautiful all day long and told everyone else, including Beauty, that they were not beautiful because they were not The Ugly, a self-glorifying dictatorship of thugs who happened to have a lot of money. Beauty shook it off rhe best she could and excelled at school and helped other “not beautiful” people the best she could. Well, Beauty moved out of the house young after getting a job and she met her first boyfriend. She felt beautiful with him. He told her she was beautiful. Never mentioned her generous loving heart much, just emphasized her looks. Well, she believed him but became confused when he started calling her fat. Well, she tried to get skinnier and worked and went to school. Soon she found out he was telling another girl she was beautiful too. And immediately she saw the lie and was devastated. Beauty moved on eventually to a new boyfriend who also emphasized her looks at first and later started calling her Dat and hit her… once… and was lying to another girl. Beauty felt not beautiful as The Ugly had told her. And magazines Beauty picked up told her she needed to be skinnier and prettier and be wild in bed for men to like you. And they sounded like The Ugly tyrannical dictator thugs. And on TV and movies, Beauty saw all the girls considered beautiful were stick figures and loose as possible with no morals and only care about appearance, not realizing they were airbrushed and often ill, and Beauty realized they were The Ugly also. And Beauty picked up her now dusty Bible and started to read. And Beauty realized that The Ugly were all wrong, every one of them, and that she was beautiful and that beauty had nothing to do with what she looked like. Beauty was made uniquely and purposefully by God, who made everything we know of and loves us each, is bit enough to be with each of us at the same time. God said being kind and gentle and loving and helpful and productive and sweet was true beauty and Beauty remembered that she was all those things initially so long ago. She cried with happiness that God who made her thought she was beautiful and suddenly, what The Ugly thought was the stupidest thing on earth, unworthy of future thought. So Beauty forgave them, forgave herself, forgave the bad men, forgave everyone and started living her amazingly beautiful life. True story.
I heard a story of a man from a friend of mine. It reads like a good movie and has hope built in. He was born a long time ago in a land far away with amazing parents who were off and on together, she a great cook and fun loving and he a bit of a mild mannered carrouser, but great parents nonetheless. They were in a rough and tumble big city and the boy grew up sandwiched between four siblings, an older brother and sister and twin younger brothers. The boy was very sensitive in such a rough place so he fought to let no one see his sensitivity and insecurities and literally fought, boxing and fighting and taking on a protective thug exterior. He dated a lot, juggling sometimes, considering himself quite a catch, feeling well protected in his shell. He married too young, wanting a family and had a beautiful little girl. However, they were too young and divorced soon after. Meeting “the one” from school and the neighborhood, a gorgeous gal with a loving but rough dad but no real mom around, they got together and got a place of their own. It was rocky, there was suspicion and cheating and even domestic violence and one day their home was raided and they were separated, tied and beaten severely. Finally getting free from their ropes he was tied with, he left to go back to his mom’s house instead of checking with and helping her in the other part of the house. After healing on their own, they reconnected and got back together and got married. They struggled to support themselves and tried for years to have kids. Finally they had a boy and kept trying and had a girl, beautiful children. But the two fought often, there was an underlying trust issue and insecurities on both sides. And they divorced but still lived together in separate rooms for the kids. She moved across country with the kids and he moved in too, same arrangement. He met a girl and they hit it off, but without them contributing to the income, she was way behind and left for another city with the kids, leaving the man and his girlfriend in the house. After the house was without power or water, she left him and he followed his ex and moved in again, dating woman after woman. Finally, he finds a woman he likes a lot but she is married. He goes after another online, a total psycho in tolerable disguise but willing to share the house she stole from her ex with him if he does exactly what she wants all the time. She forces marriage sooner than he is comfortable with but he goes along, not wanting to be lonely. But soon he tires of the demands and seeks out the married woman he knew before who was everything he ever wanted. He signs the divorce papers and moves back as a roomate with his ex and pursues the woman. Happy in love for the first time in his life, he simultaneously is riddled with guilt because no divorce papers were turned in yet. And a new wrinkle, the ex now wants to find love for herself and kicks him out. Desperate for a place to live and way to relieve his guilt, he abandons the plans with the woman, his true love and soulmate and goes back with the evil controlling con wife and she imprisons him for the rest of his life. He makes the best of it because he does not consider himself worth anymore than that for he has the guilt of hurting so many, not paying child support so long, being lonely and away from those he truly loves, and he believes her lies. Were that the end of the story, it would be so very sad. But it is not the end of the story of this man. You see, this is a man who God loves and who his soulmate loves and who Jesus died and rose to save. And there is nothing ever that God cannot forgive and wipe clean. And this precious soul is worth Jesus dying for and nothing that has ever been done by us is ever bigger than God’s forgiveness. Of course He wants us to stop screwing up and trust Him but He is able and willing to forgive and forget all past wrongs of this man and everyone involved and all over the world. And this man from birth and before and since has such a great capacity for sensitivity to the broken, sensitivity to the Spirit, appreciation and love for family, ability to be proud of his work, ability to be teachable and learn how to fix things and work in nature, can help, can make people feel truly loved, encourage people and make them feel appreciated. And all these characteristics of this man have never been changed, he was just too distracted to see them and had so much trouble forgiving himself or forgetting his wrongs and those done against him with his sensitive and reflective nature. This man has always been loved by God, every moment of every day and every moment for the remainder of life into eternity. And this man knew how loved he was by God and his soulmate, his true love, and he had peace and joy in his current prison and hope of Heaven and was encouraged. And I write this story to share an example of the depth and breadth and height of God’s love for you too. Even very complicated and movie scripted lives, as this story, are never devoid of God’s love and power to heal and forgive and grant hope. No amount of bad decisions are bigger than God’s ability to forgive and forget them when humbly asked. There is hope for the craziest of lives. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone sins. And every sin bears the same weight in God’s eyes, so no one better than anyone else and no one is beyond hope. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. All can be forgiven by God as soon as they humbly ask Him and bam! All clean and peaceful and joyful! Be free! Know that you are loved beyond your wildest imagination! Let this man’s amazing story my friend told me bring you hope as it brought me hope. Be blessed!
A neglected little girl sat alone on a hill in the gently blowing breeze of a summer day. Alone as she was accustomed to, she prayed and praised and worshiped God who loves her. She knew Him so well because she had so much time alone. And one day, after praying yet again for someone to love, she sees before her a stray dog. The dog is investigating who she is and needs a home and food. Knowing full well the pain of hunger and homelessness, she takes in the stray to her modest shack. The stray seems at home, though still disappears some nights. But she is happy for family and to have someone to love who needs her. One day, the stray does not come home. She looks and it has chosen a home down the street in a nicer part of town, as it is still a wild animal after all. The girl is heartbroken. Her new family, her dog she poured herself into for so long, her semi constant companion is gone, decided to throw her away and mock her careful care, another rejection in a long line of them. She thought he had been her gift from God, sent as she was praying to Him. Alone now, she mourns, she cries, part of her dies. And yet, there is a memory that returns. Her alone time with God on her hill. She had not been to that hill since she had brought the stray home. She remembered days past spending time just talking to God for hours, Him being the only One she could rely on so often. And it hit her that God missed her. He had given her the stray dog to show her He loved her so she would feel deeper love and appreciation for God, and here she had let the dog become her everything and her appreciation for the dog took over her appreciation for the Giver of the dog. So she understood. As she was feeling appreciation to God and spending time with Him again on her hill, she saw another gift from God on the hill, a sweet new friend. And she treasured her new friend but always first appreciated the God who provided her friend. The little girl always found time to be alone on the hill in the gentle breeze with God from that day on, never taking for granted the gift but especially the Giver of gifts. And she lived happily ever after.
In college, I had a number of jobs, sometimes coinciding with each other. Anything to keep a roof over my head and stay in school. So one of these jobs was as a daycare worker. I loved my job because I had toddlers often and while it was their nap time I had babies to rock to sleep. It was a wanting-to-be-a-momma’s dream job. Mostly because I could sleep at night and also go out when I wanted to. lol I digress, the point is that one toddler, with his cute little roundness, when I told him to put the toys away because it was time for whatever it happened to be, he gave me this blank stare. I would repeat to put the toys away, he would repeat the blank stare. Only when I stopped what I was doing, usually putting down another kid I had just saved from a runaway child or something, and had him help me pick up the toys did the blank stare go away and he started helping. And often I have thought about that little boy, wondering if he continued the blank stare into adulthood, wondering if he is maddening some women he married or whether she will figure out that she needs to come alongside him. I often have tried the blank stare routine when asked to do something I did not want to do, pretending I didn’t understand what was asked or going on vacation in my mind. But when people come alongside and do that difficult thing with me, it makes all the difference in the world. You are welcome to borrow my sweet ward’s blank stare technique and see how you fare with it. In the meantime, it would be lovely to have some help and company of a good friend through all of life’s blank stare moments and maybe we can accomplish those difficult things together. And go drink milk and cookies when we’re done.