Another Story

I’ve struggled with whether or not to keep yesterday’s post on the blog. I think I will, for now, in case it can be helpful for some folks. I want you to know that I don’t feel any animosity towards my father. I’m sure my own kids have their own stuff to work through because of my relationship with them. It’s just that these early, primary relationships usually affect how we see and relate to God, and that can be instructive.

I want to share another story about my father that will explain why I said yesterday that he was a “good man.” This happened around 1982. My first wife and I were looking to buy a house. The house only cost $20,000, but we were on a very limited income because I was working for a homeless shelter that was very much hand to mouth. We needed to borrow $5000 for a down payment, and my father was the only person I could think to ask. He said, “Let me get back to you.”

A day or two later he called and said he would be sending the money. I told him how much I appreciated it. He said he was glad to do it. What I didn’t know, and didn’t find out until several weeks later, is that my father’s auction house had just burned down, and that its contents weren’t insured. When I called him he was in the process of taking out a second mortgage on his home, as well as figuring out how he was going to support my mother and himself until the building was rebuilt. He didn’t tell me any of that. I didn’t learn about the fire until a trip that we took to California the next month. The only way he could send me the money I asked for was by cashing a life insurance policy.

Is that cool or what? It still blows me away.

Yesterday felt like another fruitful day for my *28 journey — at least potentially fruitful, as I see how much I have yet to learn. One really positive thing that happened was what felt like the most spiritual, Spirit-led meeting I’ve had with classis colleagues since I came to Schenectady. It was very encouraging and I am starting to feel quite hopeful about some things that could happen in the future.

There were some other surprises yesterday. It’s very helpful to trust that Jesus himself is leading us into those surprises and to look for the positive opportunities they present to us.

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