Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAITH (strong, confident belief in God) (02/26/15)
- TITLE: Bring Him Home
By Pauline Carruthers
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Clutching the music sheet to her heart Linda sank to the floor, tears flowing unheeded onto the collar of her red dressing gown, jumbled thoughts jostling for recognition. Was he lonely? Who was he writing about? Had her prayers for deliverance from this continual onslaught of drink, drugs, loud music and verbal abuse resulted in Tom’s disappearance?
Bob found her there, slouched on the floor, a crumpled sheet of paper in her hand. Wrapping her in his arms he gently guided her out of the room, quietly closing the door. At that moment he would have given anything for the unfamiliar sound of silence to be broken by the raucous tones of some rock musician, competing against the rhythmic throb of a hundred guitars.
He had been gone eight months now, but because he was beyond the age of being a minor, no official help had been available. They prayed constantly, believing the Lord would restore him to them. A welcoming lamp in his room hid the night’s darkness. But still Tom remained out there, alone. His younger brothers were sad, yet relieved that the continuous tension had ceased. They felt a peace, too young to be aware of their parent’s heartbreak; tears in the night, unanswered prayers.
A glimmer of hope rose in Linda’s heart the day one of Tom’s friends revealed his whereabouts. He was a long way from home, living rough with others. She sank to her knees, thanking the Lord for his safety and formulating a plan in her mind. But later, as she shared her plans with Bob she became increasingly aware of a need to commit those plans to the Lord.
At first they couldn’t believe the fast growing conviction that they were to do nothing, except continue to hold their son before the Lord. Linda couldn’t believe that God was, seemingly harshly, telling them to let go and commit their firstborn son completely into His hands. To let go and place their faith in Him.
“But Bob, he obviously wants us to know where he is. He wants to come home?” Linda cried. “We can’t just ignore what we know. I can’t just leave him there.”
They sobbed and prayed, yet the strong conviction grew and persisted in their hearts that the Lord wanted them to trust Tom completely into His hands. An impossible situation, yet nothing is impossible with God. Bob knew that if they disobeyed it could mean Tom’s immediate return home. But for Tom it would mean that nothing would change, except he would gain the upper hand. They needed to release him into God’s hands, step back and prayerfully and faithfully wait. Allow the Lord the time to work in Tom’s heart. They had to believe that the Lord would give the grace sufficient for every day of waiting.
Three more months passed. Christmas was approaching. Yet their thankful prayers kept the hope burning in their hearts. Linda trimmed the tree, wrapped presents, prepared food. Each day they knelt in prayer, believing for an answer.
Late on Christmas Eve Linda carefully laid the table for Christmas lunch, her heart aching as she set out the places. She looked at the beautiful Christmas centrepiece and wept for her wayward son. ‘Trust Me’. The familiar words brought an unexpected joy from the depths of her soul. In faith she set out one more place to complete the family table.
As they left for church on Christmas morning Linda took one last look at the presents under the tree. The guitar shaped one brought the tears again, but one more hopeful prayer before she walked towards the door to join the family in the car. The ‘phone was ringing.
“Can I come home mum?”
Ben picked him up from the station. He had slept there two nights. Dirty, cold and hungry.
After lunch they watched as he sat on the sofa, head down, hoodie covering his long hair, body automatically rocking backwards and forwards. There was a hard road ahead, but he was home.
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