My father was a maniac in a lot of ways. Did you ever meet him? He grew up in the Arkansas countryside and the older he got the more he reverted to hill-billy ways. We lived in a subdivision and he would toss his leftover breakfast out the back door (onto the back porch!) as if varmints would clean it up for him. Actually my mother did.
He also dedicated himself pretty much to drinking beer and smoking as he grew older, and gave up on bathing. He was uber-opinionated, ultraconservative, drunk and smelly. And this doesn’t really do him justice. He repaired his own dentures by gluing a pebble in place of a missing tooth. Etc.
For a teenager, he was a nightmare relative. As soon as I could get away from him, I did. I guess everyone did but my mom. She worried about him. Figured he would fall apart without her. I suppose he would have.
My father died before I ever realized he was a human being, a brother in Christ, a person of interest, someone worth knowing. I think I could love my dad now. Not for him. He was certainly an ass — ask anyone who met him. And not for me. I am certainly an ass — ask any friend of mine. But for Jesus who loves us both and makes all things new.
I think when you hear His voice and live (which I was talking about yesterday)… When you are resurrected by His love… You learn to give yourself a break… And if you can do that, you can give someone else a break too — ass or not.
I am sorry that I didn’t receive this grace while my dad was alive so that I could have given it to him, but I’m glad that I have received it now. If you haven’t … if you still can’t give yourself a break, and so find it hard to give the goof-balls in your life a break … I pray you will hear Jesus’ voice and live.
You are loved, and so are the goof-balls. That’s really all that matters.