What Truth Tells The Forsaken
Somewhere between years of bitterness, feeling left hung out in loneliness, I’m standing in the kitchen with him realizing that some of the freshest air I’ve ever inhaled is in forgiving him.
Leaning against the counter while he sits on a stool the other side opposite me, I'm clutching my coffee mug to warm my cold fingers just before sun down. Haven’t seen him in I can’t remember when, haven’t spoken in well over 6 months and when he stops in while passing through town for work it’s a welcomed visit. I tell my father while standing there that I just started taking a little writing course. In the middle of speaking the words to him, it dawns on me. Oh, yeah he writes. My memories flood in, I have no idea where they had been, but there they were…. him sitting in a chair, at a table writing and writing. I say to him, “oh yeah! Do you still write? It just now dawned on me that you always wrote. I had forgotten that.”
He smiles, “yeah. I still write.”
And while he sits there and tells me of waking up in the middle of the night in tears, he would write, “the only way to get it out ,”he would say. I’m listening to his words, and asking if he still has them all, asking if I can one day read them. He shakes his head, “if anyone read them they would think, ‘what a messed up individual.’”.
Looking at him I’ve always known, and I say it then, “yeah. a tormented soul.”
Like the Holy Spirit opening my eyes, there it sits. A tormented soul five feet away from me. That’s me, that man there that created this flesh that my soul lives in, that’s him. A four year old little girl sobbing for her daddy, wondering why I can’t have him more, she’s back there still hurting and wondering, but now, now I see him. Caught in the snare of darkness.
And all thats been on my mind for days and weeks and months and years is this simple passage of scripture. What is Truth? Christ stands before him, “for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” And Pilate says the words…..”what is truth?”
I see my father there, tormented, and I’m saying it over and over in my head, what is truth? Truth is The Redeemer. He seeks out the broken, he goes to the tormented, he chases after that one that went astray, and fills in the aching loneliness of the forsaken . Truth stands right there in front of me. Truth tells me to love like Jesus, speak truth, the gospel truth everywhere, live it out. And even when I want my father to deny his flesh, come clean off the addictions, run back into the arms of Jesus, be present in my life, and give that little girl her daddy back, well that’s not for me to make happen. Truth came, lived out a life to give us life, an example of suffering in love. I’ll love him like Jesus loves him right here in his torments. What ever he offers up of himself I’ll take it. Here’s the thing, in my longing for a storybook fairy tale of father daughter relationship, I have Truth.
Truth sets us free, feeds us life, gives us love, and binds up the fear and loneliness. We have a Father that will never leave nor forsake.
And there it is, we all have been forsaken by someone or something in our life. What has left you hurting and alone? A friend, your spouse, a parent, a sister, a brother, the church? You feel the backs turned hard against you, and gosh does it hurt. Why do we have to suffer broken hearts?
Why did her husband stray from her, forsake her and the children? Then the good ole crowd that follows Christ whispers lies about her, and somehow she’s become the outcast in her own home, with her own people. And there she is bare and broken and hurting like she can’t breath, her feet digging into that bark of her Zacchaeus tree, climbing out to that branch that sways in the shifting winds. The crowd shaking their heads at her, and she’s just hanging on to that limb, heart beating fast in hopes that Jesus might see her, might actually love her even though it looks so terrible right now. You know what He does for you friend… when you feel so busted up in a million pieces, so forsaken by everyone you ever loved more than your own self?! This is your truth…. he doesn’t walk past you there hanging on for life from your Zacchaeus limb, He walks right up to you. Calls you by your name, come down now, He walks with you, in your forsakenness, in your outcast state. Jesus takes you home, and he doesn’t just stand there, He enters into your house.
He will always, always, be for the lowly, the hurting, He will always always LOVE you, even though you may think you’re not worthy, even though you may think you’ve messed up. He leaves them all to come for you! Truth is, you don’t possess the power to condemn anyone in this life, especially not yourself! In the dark corners of the heart, we are called out into a marvelous light. His love, His life took it all, all the matters of your afflictions.
How many times in my life have I been just as Pilate standing in the face of truth and asking with my unbelief, asking in my anxieties, hurts, and fears…What is truth? He laid it out for us, it sets us free, it’s right there next to that breastplate of righteousness. So, despite being forsaken, standing deep in hurting, when the crowd has turned away, as you sit on your branch waiting for love to wash over you, when you've been forsaken, truth is standing there with His arms lifted high for you to come down. He is your Way. He is your Truth. He is your Life.
“some of the freshest air I’ve ever breathed is in forgiving him..”
Two weeks after I first wrote these words, my Father came back through town, he read what was written, and it’s been a bit of a bonding for us, healing. I asked if we could get some photos of just him & I, it has been over 20 years since we’ve had a real camera photo taken. I’m so grateful for these images. I love you Dad!