“But you, O Lord are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15, NIV).
Compassion: Her compassion for a child, longing for the love of her father, is what urged her to help me find my dad. She got me started on that road when I was about 12 years old. We got in touch with “Sunday Contact”, a programme on the radio (RJR I believe). We would sit and listen to the radio, hoping that my letter would be read over the air. Sometimes the reception wasn’t good and aunty would be more anxious than I was. She’d talk to the radio, begging for good reception or she would take the radio outside trying to get reception. Those scenes were often hilarious. We were in hysterics as she tried to get reception of the radio station while we followed behind her; or as she responded to the host or the callers. Listening to the show each Sunday evening, I was hoping that someone, who knew my dad, would hear my letter read over the air then get in touch with me. I would go to the post office each week, hoping to receive a letter from my dad or someone who knew him—it never came.
It has been a very long wait but twenty one (21) years after that initial search began, I made some progress towards getting the answers I sought. I have not yet met my father face to face, neither have I seen a picture of him, but I have spoken to him and his children. I am looking forward to the day we shall all share the same space, if God permits it. Having got that far on the journey I realised that that was the void in my life. Now I am at the place of embracing forgiveness, all because aunt Grace took the time to care, not just for my physical but my mental and emotional health also. As the journey continued of searching for my dad, aunt Grace began to invest in my spiritual development also (having developed a relationship with Christ by then, herself). She would call to check I was doing okay and would let me know she was praying for me and that the church was also praying. It gave me comfort to know that others were interceding on my behalf at a time when I was feeling like a sheep lost in the wilderness, with no shepherd to lead me back to the pasture.
Being on that wilderness journey, I quickly made the connection that, not knowing my dad or experiencing that fatherly love, was the void in my life. That void had caused me to latch on to individuals I saw as father figures. When those individuals had to leave, for whatever reason, or when they abused their position of leadership, I would feel sad and sometimes depressed. I then realised that I was looking to leaders in my church and the community I belonged to, to play that fatherly role in my life. However, when they made mistakes by abusing the trust of those in their care, I began to feel angry and later discovered that I had deeply rooted resentment in my heart, due to that void—the lack of leadership in my life. I was searching for love…looking in all the wrong places…Eventually, the crave for my dad’s leadership in my life, led me to the only One who could fill that void. It took a very long time but eventually, I connected to the right source—the love of my Heavenly Father. Today, I am still on that journey but I have embraced forgiveness and it has brought me my freedom to move forward.
My aunt, Grace James planted a seed of compassion when I was only 12 years old. It later found me laying down the sin of resentment, at the foot of the cross, and developing a relationship with my heavenly Father. She is no longer with us, on this side of eternity. But the seed she planted twenty eighth years ago has grown into a mighty tree of love, bursting forth with the fruit of the Spirit. God’s love embraces me, teaches me, forgives me, cleanses me and is daily working out His purpose in perfecting me.
I am now experiencing God’s peace that makes me able to smile through the storms that rage in my life. I am overwhelmed with His overflowing joy. I am able to apply self-control where I used to be angry and frustrated. His loving kindness fills me with the desire to do good unto all people, even those who continue to hurt me. Knowing and experiencing God’s love is so amazing! It is an encounter that cannot be explained or fully expressed to others. You just have to experience Him for yourself. I encourage you today to take that leap of faith and embark on a journey of getting to know your Lord and Saviour. He wants to have a relationship with you. He cares about where your heart is. Having that encounter with Him will find you worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. You will never be the same again.
Your sister in Christ
Janice S Ramkissoon.
9th February 2013