Would We Do It All Again, If We Had The Chance?

This is a post for The Christian Writers Blog Chain. This month’s theme is memory.

If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.
            — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

There are two memories I’d like to share with you today, and they both concern my dad. I’ll try to be brief, so you don’t fall asleep. 😉 My dad was a difficult person to live with. He was abusive to me verbally, emotionally, and I’m told physically, though I don’t remember the physical part. I’ve always prescribed to the belief that we do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time. My dad’s father was also abusive; so that’s what he knew. And he didn’t yet know Jesus Christ, the ultimate Healer and binder of wounds.

On March 5, 1997, I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart and make it His dwelling place. That was remarkable on so many levels, but it’s not even the most remarkable event. Almost exactly six months to the day after I received Christ, my father prayed with me and I gave him his own large print Bible. He was 77 years old, and had Alzheimer’s for four years already, but this was a divinely appointed lucid moment when we prayed. I know I will see my dad in heaven when I die.

The other significant memory is three days before he passed on, which was December 14, 2000. All my family (I have five brothers and one sister) was gathered home from various parts of the states to be with Dad and say their goodbyes. We were keeping him home with hospice care.

Anyway, for some reason (divine appointment?) Dad and I had a rare moment alone. He turned to me, eyes quite lucid, remarkably so, and said, “I hope you don’t hate me for the rest of your life.”

I knew as clear as day he was asking for forgiveness. I didn’t even hesitate.

“No worries, Dad,” I said, “I love you.”

Peace out.

 

31 Comments

Your post is so touching. Isn’t God’s forgiveness marvelous both toward us and through us when we must forgive those who’ve wronged us? God is good. All the time. Thanks for sharing.

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You are a healer. Have you heard of the Wounded Healer? My family was torn apart by the power of culture. Culture is dangerous. It tolerates idiocy, insanity, promotes cruelty and violence. I was a catalyst in my family, too. Learning to have a strong relationship with myself offers the world a world of new possibilities. We do this one moment at a time, one person at a time.

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    Wow. A wounded healer. That’s better than all the accolades, all the awards in the world. I’ve never been told that before. Thank you so much. *crying* Good tears, never fear. Cleansing. I’ve needed to cry. And to get back to my blog.

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What a blessing to have your relationship with your father redeemed that way. Thanks for sharing your memories, Chris.

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Deborah K. Anderson August 11, 2012 at 2:13 am

What a touching post, Chris, and what a beautiful testimony! God bless you.

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Hey Chris, nice quote from Jane Austen. It reminds me of Psalm 139:14 which says, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”

Wow. What a precious story of God’s grace and mercy. I love our Lord so much, because He cares so deeply about our wounds and our healing! I’m rejoicing with you over your Dad’s salvation, and over that special moment the two of you shared. That was definitely the hand of God. 🙂 Wow.

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    Sandi, that’s so weird, because I’ve been reading Psalm 139 over and over lately! Yes, this was definitely a story of God’s grace and mercy. I’m so glad you stopped by!

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Thank you for sharing these not-so pleasant memories, however the blessing is that the Great Physician is ever present, all we have to do is listen for His voice. Seems that abuse is an inheirted trait – if a person’s parents are abusive in some form or another the child will continue the pattern along many many generations. As a born again Christian, I have made it my personal mission to expose all kinds of abuse I encounter with the love of Jesus. Forgiveness is the hallmark of a Christian. It is not an easy way to live, but knowing WHO we are in Christ and the VALUE He placed on us, should inspire us to live above the need to victimize others. Keep up the good work! Peace and Blessings

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Such a wonderful piece from your past. Thank you for sharing. *goes in search of tissues*

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    Thanks for reading, Nona. I have made such peace with my father, through God’s hand and guidance. He was a good man, and I can’t wait to see him again, even moreso, my heavenly Father!!

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Chris – I came back again to re-read your post. I did so because you have touched my heart very deeply. When I read your response to my comment here, my heart felt so heavy to think I made you cry with my words again. But I will trust that when you say “good tears” you do mean that. 🙂

I so truly love your heart of openness in sharing your life lessons with others. I have no doubt that the expression of things from your life has and will be of value and healing to other people. I am praying and trusting that the writing and sharing is also healing to you, dear Chris. May God bless your writing and your life.

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    Oh my goodness, Carol, I didn’t mean at all for you to feel bad that I cried! I’m a very emotional person. I cry at Hallmark commercials, you know? You are such a tender and kindhearted soul, and I think that’s what I was responding to.

    Thank you so much for what you said about my blog. Sometimes I think I’m too open, but it is what I feel called to write, and even if it only helps one person, that’s something. God’s blessings on YOU and your writing as well.

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thanks for sharing this precious memory
biiiiiiiiiiiiig hug

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That is so special that you had a resolution with your dad while he still was alive. Some don’t get that chance.

Tomorrow I will be hosting the blog chain at TheWriteChris.blogspot.com

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My dad was abusive to me, more emotionally than any other way. He tried to make me a person he wanted to be himself, but never did. To this day, I chafe against people, usually garrulous and go-get-’em types, trying to teach me and change me, as though there’s something wrong that has to be fixed. Well, that may be true of me physically, but salvationally I have it licked. I don’t need to become somebody contrary to my personality.

“Be yourself.”

~ VT

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    Victor, I’m so sorry your dad was abusive to you. It does seem to seep into our adult lives no matter how hard we try not to let it, doesn’t it? My dad was a police officer, so I have trouble with authority figures in general. I like that – “Be yourself.” Very good. Thanks!

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Thank you so much for sharing this Chris. Those moments with your earthly father were a precious gift from your Heavenly Father and your forgiveness of your father, a mirror of God’s grace and mercy to us every day. I love the sharing of your heart with us. Thank you so much for that.

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    Carol, I never know what to say after you comment, because you always make me cry! Good tears, not bad tears. Anyway, thank you for reading, and just – being a blessing.

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So precious, Chris! So glad your dad gave his heart to the Lord and you forgave him. And I’m glad you have no memory of the physical abuse. Peace reigns!

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    Oh, Lynn, I think that’s part of the Lord’s mercy, that I have no memory of the physical abuse. You know? He just thought it would be too much, and blacked that part out for me. I’ve never wanted to remember it in therapy, and have been offered regression work, things like that . .. nope. If God wanted me to know, I would know.

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It’s clear that Jesus has done a major healing in your heart. You tell the story so honestly and without over dramatization, yet I know that was a pivotal point for both you and your dad.

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That’s a special moment for sure, it gave me the goose bumps! That’s awesome that you dad came to know Jesus. Very touching, thanks for sharing this one 🙂

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God gave my sister a similar precious moment with our dad when he was dying. One point of lucid thinking and privacy when he could tell her he loved her. I hope she always holds on to that. I’m so glad you had that clear opportunity for forgiveness with your dad. What a gift!

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