Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Risk of Truth

So, you know when you've stepped out a taken a risk and then your nerves get the best of you? That's where I am this morning.

It's been about two weeks since I felt very clearly that I needed to focus myself on praying for my dad. Two good weeks during which I've felt an incredible weight lift off my shoulders knowing that other people are holding up my other desires before the Lord so I can concentrate on this. I've realized how many times a day I think about those other things because it seems like I am constantly having to redirect desirous thoughts away from those things and towards my father in prayer. It's been pretty humbling to come face to face with how much energy I've devoted to those other desires.

During one of those moments of redirection, I was reminded of an encounter I had with my dad more than ten years ago. I had just returned from studying abroad, a time when I had been shown how much unforgiveness I held in my heart towards him. With hands shaking and fear threatening to silence me, I picked up the phone in my dorm room and called him. He immediately assumed I was calling for my mom and was about to get her when I told him that no, I was calling for him. Silence. Long silence. Finally I delved in and just told him that I loved him. It was probably the first time I had said it since I was a little girl and I wasn't expecting him to return the words. I just knew I had to say them. That was it. Somehow, that leap of faith changed our relationship. No, he didn't say those risky words back, but there have been other little things that began to happen that have showed me that he feels the same way and is currently incapable of expressing himself the way I might long for.

As I pondered this memory I felt really strongly that it was time again for an encounter. In the intervening years, I've learned even more clearly that my dad does not enjoy verbal communication that tends towards the sappy. He just can't open his mouth and participate. So, I wrote him a letter. A long and honest letter about how much I love him and how much I desire for Him to find contentment and joy in his life through God. He should be opening that letter this morning. And as the days have ticked by since I sent it, fear has crept in. It has whispered things to me like "You shouldn't have sent it" and "Why did you risk making your dad angry?" and "What if it was the wrong thing to do?"

But this morning I choose truth, not fear. It is never wrong to tell someone the truth- that I love him and that God loves him and wants more for him than he's experienced up until now. And that's all I did. It doesn't matter if he doesn't want to hear it or if he gets angry with me. I will not let my family operate in passive-agression so we will have it out and be stronger for it.

Now, if I can just get my nerves to catch up with my mind, I'll be able to let go and wait patiently on his response. Truth is risky, only in that I don't know how it'll be received. But it's not risky, in that I trust that God is more powerful than I can imagine and can do something in my father that may astound me as a result of this risk, even if his initial reaction is anger or even rejection. As God continues to cultivate in me an expectation for the miraculous, I will continue to hold onto a larger perspective on life that keeps me in a place of hope.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're choosing truth today! I'll be praying for your dad to read it with a receptive spirit, but I'm glad you chose to be obedient, regardless of his reaction. I've been in the process of writing my father-in-law a letter for about 2 months, and you've encouraged me to get back to finishing it and prayerfully sending it.