Sunday, March 12, 2006

On the other side of pain

I learned a little truth from my middle son this weekend. He taught me a lesson in bravery. We (Jess, he and I) were waiting for our order at Outback friday night when suddenly he started to get noticeably fidgety sitting across from me in the booth. He looked up at me and said "Dad, can we step outside a minute?" This is the same boy that has scarcely said two words in a row to me in a year. "Of course!" I said. We stepped out into the cold air. He nodded toward my truck as if to say 'let's go sit'. We did. At which point he spilled a bucket of words and thoughts and tears so vulnerable that I wept right along side him. The essence of what he said was that he was saddened by his own confusion about being a divorced son. He was sad. He was torn. He was real. He was more honest than any person has been to me in SO long that my tears were every bit as much in his honor as for his grief. I have been fretting and pulling my hair out about our relationship for what seems like years. Always wondering what more I could do. Finally, when I've stopped 'doing', the ice seems to be breaking.

He is teaching me to keep moving in a forward motion to the other side of pain and to say what's true, even if the outcome seems dubious. I want to be like him.


freeman said...

Keep being real, keep finding the other places in your life that pull you away from being real, tell that part of you that it's moving in the wrong direction, then tell the middle J that his willingness to risk has renewed your willingness to risk. Go back to Genesis and look for the two J's there (hint: it's not Abraham or Isaac). There, too, the good (brothers) pushed both of the J's in a direction that seemed best, yet the two J's eventually broke through the supposed inevitability of their lives and overwhelmed everyone with their connection. THAT is what you have with each of your kids. Be their treasure.


Anonymous said...

Me too John.

Your gentle strength has been drawing him. This last year has been preparing you. It was his moment....and were both ready. You'll recall my story at the same age. I remember the moment and so will he.

You are both blessed and prayed for. Mark

Wonderland said...


Bravo to that young man and his dad too. His bravery was also in asking and knowing you would go, and listen, and feel, and be real, and care, and weep. How rare a man that will stay and cry. It sounds like he has been in pain for some time. I bet that felt like a bit fat dose of hope! That's what I'm betting.

Costa Rica Campbells said...

Jon it seems like the process that was happening on the owyhee river is bearing some awesome fruit. Never forget that you are so much more than a ups guy. Thanks for sharing you heart on this blog, let the world see what your heavenly father is doing in your heart.