Dad

As some of you know on Monday I made a very quick last minute trip to GA to handle some Medicaid business for my dad.  His steady decline associated with dementia and cirrhosis meant he needs the end of life care only a nursing home can provide. The trip was about as exciting as it sounds- long meetings with nice people involving lots of mind-numbing paperwork.

Many of you know I grew up in a tight knit family and enjoyed an especially close relationship to my Dad. Much in our relationship changed during the past seventeen years as a wedge developed between me and him-the combined effect of affairs and alcoholism. Over this past decade I’ve watched the weight of regret and guilt slowly crush my dad.  Although I told my dad many times I love him and forgive him, a palpable tension continued between us. This wedge, the tension, and his spiraling spiritual, emotional, and physical decline has proven to be one of the greatest pains of my life.  I’ve seen firsthand you can choose to love someone, you can choose to forgive, but true reconciliation can never be forced.

Yesterday after completing business with the nursing home case manager, I walked to my dad’s room to spend a couple of hours with him.  He’s a shell of his former self- weakened, bound to a wheel chair, and fighting the mental fog to focus.  Yet this meeting was different. This meeting was unexpectedly very different. Somehow after all these years the real conversation we both needed happened. The details of our conversation are best left between a father and his son but I exited down the hallway with a new found sense of peace knowing true reconciliation has taken place.It was a strange thing this morning to find myself weeping in the midst of strangers sitting at Atlanta airport terminal D.  I was silently meditating, praying, and listening to music  in when  I heard the subtle yet clear voice of God’s Holy Spirit: “Just in case you missed it- this trip wasn’t about Medicaid or medical care. This trip was all about me giving you the reconciliation you’ve longed for.”   I’ve taught for many years that the Good News of Jesus is primarily about God reconciling messed up people to Himself through Jesus and secondarily about God reconciling us as messed up people to each other.  What a blessing to experience this Good News once again- this time in one of the most valuable relationships in my life. Thank you Jesus!

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

 

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10 thoughts on “Dad

  1. I am glad to here that you and your Dad had time together and you know the LORD will take him home to heaven one of these days too.

    I think I already told you about Patrick Daugherty passing away. I am leaving the my youngest son Paul and his wife Mikie in a Rental apartment in Waxahachie, Texas. too. That you for sharing and for me to be able to pray for you all there in Burlington, Vermont too.

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  2. What an awesome testimony and it brought tears to my eyes! I am so grateful for you sharing and for God’s perfect timing! I am praying for you guys! Fay Parker

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  3. Kevin, I love you Brother. I’m tearing up, too. I’m so glad for this meeting and the faithfulness of both you and God that allowed it to happen. May the LORD comfort your daddy in body, soul, and spirit, and also you. ~Bro. James

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    • Thank you Bro. James. You were right there with me when everything started with my dad. I have not forgotten how you pastored me through that difficult season. You modeled well for me what it looks like to shepherd people through the tough times. Love and appreciate you.

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  4. What a blessing it is to know that so many awesome things are being done by God and His Holy Spirit on our behalf, many times without our even knowing it! As His children we can always rely on the promise that He allows all things to work together for our good. I am so happy for you that this true reconciliation took place before your Dad has to leave. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing. Thank you also for allowing yourself to be used so mightily by God. It IS a choice, and you bless many more people than you will ever know on this side of Heaven. Keeping you and your sweet family in my prayers.

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  5. We’re so glad you got to experience this healing reconciliation that some only dream about. Thank you for sharing – even on your birthday!

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