Last week, I vented. I remembered. I cried out in my soul on my son’s behalf. I’m glad to know that my candor helped someone other than myself. I, however, would be remiss in my ministry, if I failed to share how wrong I’d been with my assumptions. He did call. Rather, he actually sent a text requesting that my son call him.
That night after I’d posted my frustrations and God’s resolution, my daughter noticed the message first. She excitedly ran into the living room where my son was glued to his Xbox spouting tactical procedures to his team on Call of Duty,
Recco, your dad texted you! You gonna call him back?
I said nothing. I just remained in the kitchen noting the events in my heart that would transpire. The volcano erupted. Like lava his anger bled and sought to destroy all in its path, but that night, my daughter was the target. Instead of gleefully grabbing the phone as he had in years past, I don’t know if he ever grabbed it. I just know the shouting began. I also know that my daughter was hurt. She’s always been the one to step in and try her best to cheer others up. She assumed that by telling her big brother that his dream of speaking with his father again had been answered and she was the one responsible for letting him know would be just what her heartbroken sibling needed to make him better some how. That night, however, she learned why the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” may have been coined. The pain in her golden eyes sent a surge through me. I was tempted to double over, but I stood still reminding myself that the labor pains had long since subsided. Her eyes told one story as her tongue followed through with feeble attempts to defend her stance. My daughter’s mouth could be lethal as mine had been at my age, though, I believe much of the cutting remarks were only shared to redeem some part of her heart that had been broken. She remained in the kitchen with me after the lava slowed and again my son was enthralled in a world of teamwork and gunfire, one where I know now, he felt he mattered. But he mattered to me too! I just hadn’t the strength in that moment to make the words surface so I stood mute.
The night passed like a flash. The next afternoon when I arrived home from work, I noticed that phone shattered on my living room floor. As I knelt to pick up the pieces, I reflected on the night before. It hadn’t been a nightmare after all. The hurt I felt…he felt…we all felt had been real. I pieced it back together while I pondered how I would do the same for my family.
I wondered if the pieces I’d reassembled were the result of an accident. I hoped, but knew the truth. It remained powered off for the next two days.
I began Saturday with a relentless pursuit to make them better. Yet, after an early morning workout, I’d left my son alone with his thoughts. He’d figured our plans were too “babyish” to be fun. He’s a teenager so I agreed that maybe he was too old to participate. I wish I hadn’t.
Quality time was my motive and laughter was my method…he could have used a good laugh, but I wanted him to have the opportunity to call his father without the responsibility of admitting that he didn’t answer again. Well, I didn’t want him to feel that he needed to admit that to me anyway. That’s what his explosion a couple days prior had been about. He had attempted to call him back, but neither did he answer nor did he call back that night.
So yes, I tied my leg to a complete stranger’s and waddled down a field in a 3-legged race, supervised as Kayla tossed a water balloon to her partner snagging 1st place, and gritted my teeth in an ultimate tug of war that proved “Girls Rule!”as suspected:-) I laughed out loud with her until I dropped her off at her grandmother’s and upon my arrival home, my son seemed proud to have me all to himself. I actually attempted to understand the point behind the game that fascinated him, but I’d never imagine picking up the controller for that one. There had already been a consensus of one who wouldn’t tolerate me messing up his record. So I folded clothes and watched. He beamed. I was satisfied.
At church on Sunday, my son was by my side and extremely courteous…I mean he’s a teenager! He held the door as he’d been taught since he was younger, this time without a reminder (he seemed to have gotten amnesia every now and then since he hit “teenville”). He was quiet but while I praised, he stared. That evening, I thought to power on that phone. A new message came up. Again, Kayla rushed into the living room with the news, but stopped short at the door, turned toward me, and her eyes said what she couldn’t. Taking her cue, I told Recco, “Come in here son and call your daddy back.” He entered immediately with a gruff, “that message is old.” My daughter’s excitement couldn’t be withheld any longer so she spouted, ” No it’s not it just came through today!” He took the phone, left my presence and slowly marched back to his seat, and pressed the “send” key to return a call to the one who’d apparently texted him only hours before.
I smiled and wondered at his words. “What’s up dad, man Bro’ I haven’t talked to you in a long time…” began my transition.
He may have talked to him only 15 minutes, but I knew that my son was happy if only for those few moments. He felt loved again by both parents and I was grateful for God’s mercy and felt no resentment for his father’s absence. Instead, I realized the power of forgiveness.
I realized that God had forgiven us before we were born, yet who are we to not forgive those we see or talk to (or not so much) everyday?
This truth was further corroborated when I arrived to work and listened to the broadcast. The message was so profound that I finally understood how God had been testing my faith and my heart as to whether I could refuse to make someone else pay for what had been done to me or my child. So with this, yes my last post was candid, painful, and a lesson in God’s grace…so I’m humbled, grateful, and yes folks, I stand corrected.
©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.