Friday, July 25, 2003

Seeing the Father's Heart

A poem for Curtis and Libby Fletcher as they are perched,
waiting for the future God promises to deliver.

“Doesn’t my dad love me? Doesn’t he care?”
Wondered the fifteen year old boy.
“He could change these circumstances
He could make life so much easier, if he only would.
He has the power. He has the freedom.
Why, oh why, does it seem he likes me to squirm?”

“Why is it so painful to help my son?”
Wondered and wept the dad.
“It would be so much easier to cut him free of the discomfort,
the frustration, the anxiety.”
But he didn’t.
Though he could hardly restrain from doing so.
In truth, he intentionally forced the teen into uncomfortable
circumstances that could have been sidestepped.
Because he knew the discomfort would not last,
But that the character and confidence would.
Though the child could not see it nor understand.

All that the lad could see and feel was the pain.
It seemed deeper knowing the dad could remove it and didn’t.
Sometimes he felt betrayed though the father repeatedly voiced,
“I love you, son. Dearly. Undyingly. More than you know.”
Yet the pain seemed so much louder than the words.

The dad wanted him, oh how he wanted him,
To see beyond the pain to the father’s heart.
His eyes moist often as he watched the struggle
Heard the cries, wiped away the boy’s tears.
The father’s heart was blurred from his child,
His distress and inexperience held that vision away.

Only now that the boy has become a man
Can he look back to see the father’s heart.
to see the pain was temporary.
to see the benefits are lasting.
to see that he could trust the father’s heart through it all.

Only now that the boy is past the earlier pain
Seeing it in the 20/20 vision of hindsight
Can he understand that it would not have been kindness
or love or care or help at all to remove the pain.
Rather, now he understands that had the father removed the pain
It would have been the greatest cruelty of all,
For the father would have stolen from the son’s present and future
The ability to be all that he was meant to be
And have the heart of the father beating within him.
(July 6, 2003)

Curtis and Libby,
(and all readers of From Where God Sits)

I pray that increasingly you will be able to see past
the financial, mental and emotional discomfort of these days.
To catch glimpses of the Father’s heart.
Not only with the intellect of faith that comes
When the mind is wrapped around knowledge.
But with the hearts of children pulled up
onto the lap of the Father, wrapped in His arms,
feeling the tingle of His whiskers
and the breath of His words as He expresses His delight in you.
Dearly loved, protected, provided for
And promised a hope-filled future.

Trust the Father’s heart. No matter what comes or what you feel.
Trust the Father’s heart.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity."" Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

(This poem was inspired by God and written especially for a good friend of mine and his wife following a phone conversation. Curtis has been out of work for over a year, in spite of the fact that he is one of the smartest and most talented men I know. God has closed door after door after door after door. Would you pause to say a prayer for Curtis, Libby and their three sons if this poem encouraged you?)

UPDATE - September 22, 2003 - THANKS!! to all who prayed for Curtis and Libby Fletcher. Within 2 weeks Curtis was offered a job by a company that had told him they didn't have anything for him, though they had all but promised a job for a couple months. I'm convinced your prayers made all the the difference!!