Wednesday is for Confusion and Heart Songs

Finding time. Making time. Prioritizing time. Planning time.

Removing distractions.

Attending to his word. Listening for his voice. Looking for his direction.

I have been blessed with four children.

Three wonderful girls. One wonderful son. All greatly loved. All marvelously talented. All loved and valued by their friends. All of whom I am deeply proud. I delight and celebrate their lives and pray that their impact on the world would be a blessing to all they know.

Three children, I see frequently. As frequently as a 90 mile drive and schedules with busy lives can allow. Three whose texts, and emails, and cards, and phone calls are like ointment to the blisters of my heart. I cherish every hug, every word, every smile, every picture, every story they share.

But the math doesn’t work.

I have four children. I have four children but the last full paragraph only mentioned three. Which brings me back to time.

Forty-one years ago, when I did not know Christ. When my life was ruled by passion and desire and lust and rebellion and godlessness, God in his great mercy, allowed my girlfriend to become pregnant. He who opens and no one shuts, opened the womb of a teenage girl and I became a father.

For one year.

I have forgiven those who took her from me, abducted would be the term used today, but it was 18 years before I would see her again. Then, there was a wonderful 6 months of visits and letters and phone calls and just as abruptly, 16 more years of silence. Then, marvelously, gloriously a break through.

Heart rises twice the height of Everest for months and then five fantastic days with meetings and introductions and three younger half-brother and sisters (and spouses) met and enjoyed one another. Seven followers of Christ and one artist with Buddhist leanings. It was five days of discovery and joy.

Correspondence ensued. Facebook happened. Texting happened. Phone calls happened. And then in the Fall a year later I had a six day visit with she and her friends on her home territory. Discussions, dinners, debates, delights filling in the years, trying to connect a thread of love and longing and mystery.

In May of 2012 another five day visit in Indiana among the quiet people. Buggies and horse manure and walks on the roads and board games filled with laughter. Four children, two spouses, my incredible wife and me. We have a photo memory that captures our collective joy. It’s one of my favorites.

It is also the last picture since.

A month later, a letter, an email really. 

There is no room for me in her life. She can’t handle relationship with a shadow-father who doesn’t know her history and lives outside her artistic world. The gaps are too great. The pain is too deep. Maybe someday, but not now and only at her initiation.

The math doesn’t add up. And my heart breaks because of it. 

Finding time. Making time. Prioritizing time. Planning time.

Removing distractions.

Attending to his word. Listening for his voice. Looking for his direction.

I have been blessed with four children.

And I will take them all to the throne of grace and ask for the blessing of God upon their lives.

It’s what a parent does when their heart, full or empty, can do nothing else.

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