Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming Full Circle...

I haven't written about my Dad in a while, and it's not because he's not on my mind. It's more because he's constantly on my mind, but life keeps intervening. Really, it's quite annoying. When I begin to think of my Dad, I push the thoughts out of my head and attempt to focus on the task at hand, like getting Owen to poo poo in the potty (still unsuccessful I might add.) While listening to 91.9, they'll frequently play some rendition of Be Thou My Vision to which my response is to quickly change the channel. If I'm unpacking a box and come across a picture, I'll allow a quick tear or two before I bury the picture in the stack and set that box aside to be gone through later. Let's just say that I normally have the chance to run and hide from my pain, and then I went to church on Sunday.

When I noticed the one word on the front of the bulletin, "Conflict," I didn't think much of it...another series on how we shouldn't go to bed angry or gossip about our friends. This should be good, and then T.J. introduced this video from North Point church in Alpharetta, GA. But this time it wouldn't be Andy Stanley, but some unknown girl speaking of some conflict she'd resolved in her life. You probably know where this is going at this point, but for those of you out there who need a little help...she was about to tell us about her father.

She began by telling us about what kind of man he was, his positive traits, something someone would say at a memorial service. I noticed the constant use of the word "was," and prepared myself for what was coming next. Her father was dead, died of cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Can you guess my reaction? Since I couldn't change the channel or leave the room, I allowed the tears to flow, and they didn't stop. She might as well have been telling my story with a few minor timeline and character changes, and she too had peace (though it came literally moments before he passed). Even through the pain, I was able to recognize the message. Now I realize that Tim's purpose in showing that video was to reveal a person in our lives we need to seek reconciliation with, but for me I sat there encouraged, grateful, relieved. My Dad is gone, for good gone, and that's hard enough to deal with. I'm so thankful that I'm not also stewing in regret, bitterness, and missed opportunities. I have peace, and am now inspired to write down my story...not so much for anyone else, but just for me, to see it come full circle.

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