The best lesson my mother ever taught me was how to learn a lesson. When I would tell her a story, any story, good or bad, she’d say, “So, what did you learn?” And I would
try to figure out what I’d learned. This has been the most helpful lesson in my life. Even very bad situations offer some new piece of information. It’s comforting, to know some good came, even from the bad.
Watching my dad’s downward spiral has taught me many things. Addictive drugs are not to be played with. Our words affect other people, sometimes for a long time. Love does in fact hope all things, endure all things, bear all things.
Those lessons, and more every day. But there’s one in particular that I can’t get past. My dad’s a pretty good example of someone who is lost. He has something in him that is never satisfied. He sought, for years, to fill it with the world’s version of good things: a family, nice house, good job. When we moved away, he turned to other things, less acceptable things. Forbidden even. It’s almost as if he needed something stronger, more potent.
When you share the gospel with someone, there’s some compassion in your heart. You feel sorry for where they are in their lives, in their heart. You offer them Jesus, and hope they accept. But when I told my dad about Jesus, that he could bring peace, that he was the only solution, I didn’t feel just compassion. I felt almost desperate. I needed him to believe, to understand.
That’s when I learned about free will, the high cost of it. God loves my dad, loves everyone, far more than I do. This is what Jesus meant, love your enemies. He is merciful even to the evil and unkind. In the end, though, he won’t force anyone. I can’t force my dad.
He laughed me off. The gospel is foolishness to those who are dying, but to those who are being saved it is life everlasting. Please pray for my dad. I don’t want to get to heaven and not see him there. I don’t know if this is presumptuous, but please also pray to learn to love also. I think we could do more good if we felt that way about everyone, and not just the people in our immediate view. I’m praying for it, too. Thanks.