I guess it's just revealing all the background time because in the last post about The Red Envelope Project, I let whoever reads this know about being adopted. And today, I was going to write about who Larry is.
Larry is my father, and I haven't spoken to him or seen him in years. He left our family when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Except for a short time after my parents' separation, Larry really hasn't shown any interest in speaking to my sister or myself, nor does he care to know his seven grandchildren. He has walked away from so much, and left behind a trail of hurt as he did so.
But enough about that. That is in the past.
My daughter is in the present.
The day before yesterday, she asked, "Mom, where's your dad?" Oh no. I have been dreading this question. How do I explain this?! Since she is so young, I thought that I could get away with saying that I didn't have a dad because really, I don't. Larry has chosen to not be a part of my life, and though I would welcome him into our lives with open (but pretty cautious) arms, he's really not a father at all.
Well, my daughter is just too smart. Yesterday, "Mom, are you sure you don't have a dad?!"
Here we go.
I had my daughter turn her sweet little face to me and told her that I wanted her to listen. She did, and I explained to her that I do have a father, that he left when I was about her age, and that he doesn't talk to mommy. With a lump in my throat, I told her that he doesn't know Jesus or love God, so he doesn't really know how to love, because love comes from God. I told her that we need to pray for him that he would know God and believe in Jesus so that he can know real love and love others like Jesus.
She thought it was silly that a dad would leave his kids- from the mouth of babes! Right?! And she told me, when I asked, that she knew that her mommy and daddy wouldn't leave her.
Though I haven't been emotional about being abandoned by Larry, I got quite emotional last night. That lump in my throat seemed to explode, and I wasn't sure why. I hardly ever think about him or what it was like when he left. I really have a nice peace about it, and have a sincere concern for his salvation because two things can happen then: 1. He escapes eternity in hell and can rejoice in the glory of God, and 2. He can be covered by the grace necessary to heal the broken relationships in his family.
So, I reacted, and didn't know why. Such a girl-thing to do right? But I thought about it. Sure the hurt is still there in many ways, but I never, ever want my children to feel rejected by him too. Essentially, that is what he has done. He knows that he has grandchildren, so it's not an issue of ignorance. He has just turned away from them too. My kids and my sister's kids are blessed with grandpas that love them and play with them. So they are certainly not wanting in the grandpa department, but I don't want them to feel the pain that comes with being walked out on.
But I can rest in this because when her daddy put her to bed last night and it was time to pray, he asked her, "What can we pray for?"
Norah answered, "We need to pray for mommy's daddy."
"Because he doesn't love God."
If she keeps that in mind, I think she'll be okay. You see, it took a long time for me to get to that place of compassion instead of hurt or anger, to that place where the gospel is the center, and knowing that nothing can be made right without it.
Norah's already there. I need to be faithful to keep her there. I need to keep her at the foot of the cross praying for her astranged grandfather. I'm convicted that I need to be there too, faithfully praying.
And someday when Haddon asks, I'll take him to the cross too. Then Larry can have three people that he has walked away from praying for him.