When you approach my Mamaw’s fridge for ice to chill your sweet tea with, do so with caution. When you press the button, a landslide of ice comes rushing out. The next thing you know, ice is sliding all over the floor, like penguins sliding around on their bellies. A piece of ice is likely to find itself in an area not immediately visible to the eye, as you scramble to find all of the little penguins & throw them into the sink.
My dad’s choice to cut himself off from our family has been one of those ice-avalanche situations. He just has no idea how far all of the pieces have fallen, how far the hurt branches out.
Living with the knowledge of someone’s ignorance concerning a painful situation that person has caused is quite infuriating at times. I have been & am able to see & experience the depth to which his choices hurt others.
I saw it in the hungry-for-restoration eyes of his bed-ridden father, who passed away 9 months ago. I see it in the honest-yet-grace-filled eyes of his mother. I see it in the protective-of-family eyes of his sister. I see it in the numb eyes of his daughter. I see it in the frustrated eyes of his nephews & brother-in-law. I see it in the epiphany-filled eyes of other family members who realized they’ve been lied to. I see it in the eyes looking back at me in the mirror everyday.
Oh, how my flesh rages!
My flesh wants to verbally tear into my dad. My flesh wants to call him every name in the book. My flesh wants to shake some sense into my dad. My flesh wants to make him feel the emotional pain that he’s caused & then some. My flesh wants to point out discrepancies between the way he lives his life & what God calls him to as a father & husband. My flesh wants to make sure he knows just how far the pieces scattered when he chose an estranged life.
My God calls me to love him as I love myself. My God calls me to pray for him.
Hmmm, I don’t recall my flesh ever wanting to do either of those things. I suppose that’s the beautiful thing about free-will. God doesn’t force us to choose Him, but when we do, we are free. When I choose love & prayer here, now, I am choosing to be freed from angry & selfish motives, as I’m choosing God’s best for me.