Fighting against your own culture is hard. This could be your national culture, your family culture, even your Christian culture. I find myself fighting against all three, and probably more that I don’t even know I’m holding on to!
So much, I want to be Jesus to the people, but my Christian culture and my own perception of Christianity has led me down a road of knowledge. And even though I know the words of love and forgiveness and grace, my actions rarely match the Christian knowledge I have.
When I married Yeffry, I wondered how long it would be until he could lead me spiritually, considering I have been a believer so much longer than he has. Oh, I love how God puts us in our place. It hasn’t taken long at all. He’s been leading me spiritually in so many ways, but mostly in how to love people.
From the beginning of our relationship, Yeffry has repeatedly encouraged me to reach out to my dad, to be there for him, to call him, to be in his life. When my dad almost died in August, it was a moment of truth, where I was able to go and be there for him, just for him, with no selfish motivation, no reason to prove anything to anyone. That was Yeffry being Jesus to me. I’ve grown in how to truly love someone who is (often, but not always) difficult to love… unlovable, even. The world says, “He made his own choices. Now he has to face his own consequences.” Sure, this is true. But this isn’t Jesus. Jesus says, “You made your own choices, but I love you anyway. In fact, I’m going to relentlessly pursue you because I love you, no matter what choices you’re making.”
Man, that’s so hard for me to do with people, especially with my father, who, you know, I feel like made a lot of bad choices that really messed up a lot of things in my life. I’ve held on to all these feelings of bitterness and “rights” and blamed him for so much. As an adult, I looked back and thought of all these expectations I had for my father. And how often I was let down, even destroyed, at times.
So my dad almost died, due to his own choices, and Yeffry told me to go. To go and love him. He’s my dad. Love him. So I went.
And now that my dad has been well, it’s been wonderful. But then, he makes more bad choices. And now I have a choice to make. Part of me wants to walk away. But part of me hears Jesus in Yeffry saying, “Go, love him.” He’s made his choices, but I can still pursue my daddy relentlessly with love.
And I cannot do this in my own strength, or with the wrong motivation. It has to be Jesus in me. Lord, fill me with your grace and love so that I can turn around and pour it into my dad’s life.