Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: House Divided
By Lucile McKenzie
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In spite of my father’s drinking, I always knew he loved me. He was not an abusive drunk, only got silly. Fortunately, he never drank on his job. Perhaps from embarrassment Mom made excuses for him when he staggered home now and then, lurching across our lawn. “He’s not feeling well.” she would tell the neighbors. “I think he has a touch of the flu.“ The neighbors were not fooled, but they liked my dad and didn’t criticize.
Still, it wasn’t always easy growing up in a “house divided” where one parent was a Christian and the other was not. When my father drank, the house was filled with arguments, anger and tension. I was an only child, with no brother or sister to turn to for comfort. I went to my room or outside to play. My mother sought refuge in the company of her Christian friends and in many hours of tearful prayer. She was a strong Christian and did not give an inch when it came to Christian ideals, such as church attendance. Not that my father objected. He didn’t care if we went to church. He just refused to go with us.
It was due to my mother’s strong Christian beliefs and influence that I became a Christian at an early age. My father professed pleasure at my accepting Christ, but I’ve often wondered what he really thought. I never knew. He was killed in an industrial accident when I was 13 years old. My mother’s reliance on Christ and her own inner strength carried us through that dark time. Years later, when she was again a widow, grieving for her 2nd husband, she told me how much she had loved my step father, and said, “I loved your father, too. But his drinking was always a problem.” Yes, but In spite of my father’s drinking my Mother’s reliance on, and steadfast faith in Christ allowed me to grow up in a stable, loving home.
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