A Rockin’ Memory
The best place in the whole world is here on my porch, sittin’ in my favourite rocker, enjoyin’ the birds and the breeze. Often my mind meanders off down Blessing Lane, or Memory Lane as some refer to it. Oh my yes, how I do love to reminisce, to savor those precious moments when God reached from eternity into time and touched a life, changin’ it forever.
I remember the day my son, Ryan, spoke the very truth of God into his Daddy’s heart and set him free from years of emotional prison. That was forty-some years ago. Ryan was only 15 at the time. That day started out just like any other. Everybody in the family was up at their appointed time, doin’ their routine things. All was goin’ along just as it should - until breakfast was about finished.
“What time is it, Mom?” Ryan called, not wantin’ to be late for school.
“Ten minutes to 8:00,” I told him. He was right on schedule.
But Mark, Ryan's Daddy, looked up from his second cup of coffee with a frown, “Ryan, where’s your watch?”
“I lost it at school.”
Now, I’d heard this story before, back when it happened. But apparently Mark had missed out on that tellin’, and for some reason the whole situation sparked his frustration. As Ryan repeatedly claimed he didn't care about not having a watch, his Daddy kept badgerin’ him about taking responsibility to try to find the watch. By the time Mark had to leave for work, he was steamin’ more than the fresh cup of coffee in my hand. His parting shot was a bullet to Ryan’s heart. “Find that watch. I can’t afford to buy you another one.” And then he was gone.
Minutes later Ryan was still sittin’ in the same position, paralyzed. In my heart a desperate plea arose, “Father in heaven, help me understand so I can help this precious young man understand what just happened here this mornin’. Give me words to ease his hurt so he doesn’t carry it all day long.”
The words came. “Ryan, honey,” I said as I approached him, “Remember that your Daddy is still feelin’ bad for the financial stress we’ve been under these past few years. He feels like he’s failed in his responsibility to provide for us. He loves us and it hurts him to see us doin’ without. The watch wasn’t really the issue. It just reminded him of how much he can’t buy for us. Try not to take this mornin’ too personally. And honey, pray for him. He needs God to mend his heart.”
Ryan listened. He nodded his head. Then with a cautious smile and a hug for me, he was out the door, too.
Late that evenin’, after everyone was settled snug in bed, there was a timid knock on our bedroom door. Now, it’s highly unusual for any of our children to come to our bedroom late at night. They’re more prone to yell for us to come to them. So with peaked curiousity, Mark opened the door.
Ryan stood there, awkward and still, a tangle of emotions trapped in his eyes. Instantly, my mother’s heart squeezed. I knew somethin’ big was comin’.
“Um, Dad?” His voice choked. Tears pooled in his eyes. “Um, you know how Mom tells us that you sometimes feel like a failure for not providing more money for us? Well…” The tears spilled over but he bravely sought to finish what he’d come to say. “I just want to tell you that you do provide well, Dad. Food doesn’t matter. Stuff doesn’t matter. You’ve given us a family that stays together. Lots of kids don’t have that. And you’ve given us a Mom who is home when we need her. We have love and security that no amount of money could buy.” He stopped, unsure and vulnerable, not knowin’ how his words were being received.
They stood there for a moment, Mark and Ryan, just looking at each other. Then Mark reached out and pulled Ryan into his strong embrace. With tears streamin’ down his own cheeks, he whispered, “Thank you, son. Thank you.”
Oh, praise be to God for such a memory! His healin’ truth was spoken from the lips of a boy. We may not have had an abundance of material wealth, but we were rich in the things that really mattered. Oh my yes, we were rich indeed!
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