Brokenness Aside

I can’t help but remember him–my birth dad. The last I saw him, I was four or five. He was kind and gentle. Now, he was a mess, yes, but I could tell he loved me and my little brother, best he could for the state he was in. Drugs and alcohol were his master, he their slave. 

But, when he was sober and sound, he was tender and attentive. I remember the time we danced, me and him. He had bowed and I had courtsied and he laughed because he’d never taught me that. How to courtsey. Somehow, my little girl heart just knew. And he taught me how to use that record player and I sat up on the chest of drawers and played records for hours. And I remember the way he carried me on his arm and in those moments, I never felt more safe.

But, he left, and he kept leaving. He was running. Running from things he couldn’t seem to keep away. And just the other night, a birth sister contacted me. One I never knew about and she tells me our birth dad is in a Hospice house and he’s only got hours left. I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to call him. To hear his voice. And to tell him that I loved him. And that he was a sweet dad. Yes, he made a mess of things, but there is grace and the Spirit inside me wants to lavish him with all this grace.

So, tonight I call him. And he can’t talk but I can hear him breathe. And I tell him some things I remember, some good things, and I hear his frail voice rise. There’s no words, just this gasping and this breaking and I know what he means. That he loved us. The best he could for the state he was in.

And tonight I’m glad and I’ve got this peace. Not that my birth dad has only hours left, but that the God who made me,  made us, had heard all my little girl prayers and that He would give me this. This God I know weaves His story into our lives and every once in a great while we get to see. That all along when we were making a mess of things, He was redeeming. And I testify to this–there’s a God who takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful.

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