My wife and I saw the movie “Blind Side” last night. We loved it! I can sum it up by saying it's a story of redemption where a wealthy family CHOOSES to love a young black man from “the poor side of town” and winds up making him one of their own.
I was touched by the film. It hit close to home.
Over two decades ago, in what seems another lifetime, the mother of my children had an affair and wound up pregnant (you should know, I was not at liberty to discuss this story until 6 years ago when, to her credit, she released me to do so in hopes it might help someobody else). As one who did not believe in abortion, I chose to raise this “love child” as my own. I can recall how, knowing I needed to talk about this, I contacted a man by phone – a Catholic priest I'd never met and whose name I cannot recall. He listened intently as I described the situation to him. I can't recall most of what he said – I can't even remember saying “good-bye” - but I DO recall God giving him the perfect words to say, “Y'know, Joseph raised a baby that wasn't his...”
Same God. Same type of situation. That's all I needed to hear. In that instant, I felt the Lord's arms wrap around me like a perfect daddy assuring his son, “We'll get through this, child...I'll be right there with you.”
I CHOSE to love that little baby.
I CHOSE to love her every bit as much as I loved her three siblings.
I CHOSE to make her my own.
The day finally came when her mother called me, crying, announcing to her daughter – 16 years later – that I was NOT her birth father. It was an awesome moment of redemption as I gathered the four children, her olders sister and two brothers, ages 16 and over, around me, along with their mother, and said to them, “It really doesn't matter what human man brings us into the world. What really matters is that we ALL come from the same Father – God – and that we MUST get to know Him...that's what's most important to me.”
Shortly thereafter, restitution was made between her and her birth father. I've met him - and his wife - the day I officiated her wedding, at her graduation, at her kids' birthday parties (my grandchildren). I've prayed for the both father and his wife (can you imagine his wife and two daughters learning about this 16 years after the fact?) and have forgiven him.
My daughter knows she is loved. She is a wonderful person and I cannot imagine life without her. Her husband – with whom they've just had their second baby – has a son from a previous marriage. He's 6 and I have CHOSEN to love him and be his “Grandpa Mike.” I'm getting to know him and he's a real joy.
By the way, my youngest son has met a lovely young woman with three kids. They'll be joining us for Christmas and, well...frankly, we're running out of room for Christmas stockings on our fireplace mantle.
What a wonderful problem to have!
What about YOU? Who has hurt you? Who has been driving you nuts for years that you may have disowned, alienated, brushed off or written off as hopeless? When my oldest son was behind bars, I had to CHOOSE to love him, even when my flesh was repulsed by the way he “disgraced our family name.”
Gee, thank God Jesus didn't blow me off while He was being crucified.
Children, spouses, ex-spouses, employers, people who are “different” than us... all this Christian dissension has got to stop! Where's the love, people?
God's been so good to us, especially in America. WE had NOTHING to do with being born here, waking up free as we are. We had NOTHING to do with the freedom we have to start businesses, travel, send email messages all over the planet, worship as we do. None of this was OUR choice. It was HIS alone.
He even allowed us the freedom to CHOOSE who we will love and who we will hate. Like the lady in “Blind Side” (played by Sandra Bullock), we are being given a daily opportunity to show someone else the love of Christ that is resident within us.
By the way, the movie's title - “Blind Side” - is a football reference to the responsibility of an offensive lineman to defend his quarterback's “blind side” from their opponents whenever he attempts a pass. Similarly, each of us must make that same choice to defend the “blind side” of others whom our mutual enemy, the devil, is bent on destroying.
What are we doing with that opportunity? Are we turning a “Blind Eye” or protecting their “Blind Side”?
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