“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
“Stop catching the ball!” I said to Janis
Rejection is a powerful force. In the counseling business we say “Rejection rejects” as an explanation to an ongoing cycle of un-reconciled relationships. Somewhere along the line one person or the other in the relationship must stop rejecting or receiving rejection. This person effectively breaks up the play (of the enemy spirit) because they, “Stop catching the ball!” as we also say.
Foe many years my wife dealt with rejection from her dad. He was a good man with a poor habit of joking or criticizing at the expense of others. Janis would come home from visiting him in tears or feeling rejection. She loved her dad and prayed for him but this hurt occurred every time she would visit him, and frequently because her mom and dad lived near by.
“Stop catching the ball Janis.” “Break up the play.” “Down over.” You can end this if you want to and by forgiving at the same time you protect yourself and maybe your dad also. The analogy worked. She understood.
The next time she saw him, her response to his provocation was “Oh daddy…I love you.”
Low and behold, in a short time, the jokes and ridicule stopped! Something her dad had done for years stopped. Game over!
A friend in church who knew Janis’ dad suggested she write a “love letter” to her dad. “I don’t know what I would say!” was her response. “Think of something good you remember him doing and thank him for it.” Janis pondered this for some time but took it to heart. “The beach!” was the answer to her heartfelt search. Her dad took the family to the beach now and then. He was a dairy farmer so time off was rare. Then she also remembered him taking her with him to others farms. He would buy her an ice cream. This was it! Not just one thing but two! She wrote her letter of appreciation and love.
“Let’s have lunch! Your mom does not like Chinese but I do will you have lunch with me?” “What will I talk about?” she asked me with great apprehension. “Whatever he is interested in!” was the answer that came to her mind. She went and had a great lunch experience with him. Oh how happy she was.
Howard began to change. A loving and gentle spirit came over him. I saw this happen myself and how beautiful their relationship became.
I too benefited from “Pop” changing. One year I received a pair of socks from Pop for Christmas. OK I hear you saying, Oh great… a pair of socks. I bet you knew what they were before you unwrapped them!” Well yes I did in fact. However, they were the best and greatest gift that I had ever received. “What?” you say? Oh yes no doubt about it. “How so?”
Attached to the flimsy wrapped package was a tag addressed to me. It said and I quote, “A father can only hope his son-in-law will fully appreciate, treasure and keep his daughter as happy as possible in their life together! Thanks Michael, Pop W.”
Do I have to tell you what this meant to me? Thank You Lord!
We cannot know the effects our obedience can cause until we obey! We cannot know the power of God’s instructions until we obey them. We cannot rise above our troubles until we look down upon them from His point of view. Ephesians 2:6 says we have been raised up with Christ “and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” We can see as Christ sees, if we choose to.
In moving I lost the scrap of paper Pop’s note was written on. I searched and searched. I was grieved at losing the evidence and most precious treasure and compliment Howard ever paid me.
Pop died a few years later, as did Janis’ mom a few years after that. As it turned out, my precious and beloved Janis also passed away. I had to go through “millions” of pieces of paper and files unending that belonged to mom and pop, before I could dispose of them.
I found a shirt box with memorabilia from pop’s funeral. I again leafed through each paper inside the box. Then I found it! I could not believe it! I read it and sure enough there it was! Mom Wilson had saved it!! I had found the original scrap of paper, Pop’s original draft of the note I had lost!!!! It even had lines around it so Pop would know the size he had to fit the text into! Thank you God, thank You, thank You, thank You! I jumped up and down I was so excited! A million pieces of paper in a half a million files and I found THIS one piece of paper? My God is faithful. In my loss…I found precious encouragement…a reminder of a relationship and the heart of a changed man.
We choose what we keep in our hearts.
“If we remain in His grip, how far from His heart can we be!”
In the guardianship of Christ,
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