Monthly Archives: February 2012

Snapshot of an Abandoned Heart 6

The longing is different for father than for mother; even without  knowledge of either of them, the heart will somehow placed them in two totally different roles.

A  little girl’s heart perpetually longs for daddy.

Protector.

Defender.

The one whose ‘got her back’ even when she messes up.

Especially when she messes up….

The heart can sense something is missing; many of the ways pursued to fill the void are short-lived bandages on a cancer eating its way through the core.

Everyone needs someone who will simply “be there” no matter what goes on in life.

Absent of that one to lean on, the heart fluctuates between intense search to find someone to fill the void, and piercing independence to keep everyone at bay.

The heart’s constant search for him will fall for ugly substitutes for his love, resulting in more holes in the heart.

Finding him brings an indescribable sense of completeness. Illogical as it may seem, seeing his face & hearing his voice brought peace to one of the deepest corners of the abandoned heart.

Heard all the opinions, acutely aware of ugly accusations.

Logic easily convinces why the labels seemed to fit him.

For all his flaws, he is still father.  Something way down deep felt  –  still  can feel  –  unexplainable loyalty and affinity for the man.

Whatever things he was, or was not, he was my father

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Affinity From a Distance, 2

The physical similarities could be explained by genetics.

Other things we had in common proved a bit more mysterious to understand, since I had never been in his care.

Hershey’s chocolate with almonds; refrigerated. Best scenario is to throw it in the freezer for a little while; just don’t forget it there.

Deep thinking, almost brooding.

Intensely independent. Skillfully stubborn.

Prefers blue jeans. Doesn’t really care what you think about him, or his wardrobe.

Expressed emotions best while writing.

Loved racing.

Tried all the wrong ways to drown the pain in his heart.

Struggled to believe that a Holy God  –  if He did exist  –  would have any use for someone as useless as he felt most of the time.

I gave him a Bible; prayed he would read it. He wasn’t sure he needed that God stuff. Besides, he was firmly convinced God hated him.

With an ironic twist, one day he said something a little girl’s heart desperately longed to hear her daddy say:  I’m proud of you.

It was a phone call, then repeated in a letter.

“I’m proud of how you turned out, kid.”

Cannot explain how many times, how many ways, how deeply I yearned to hear that from the man who raised me.

Instead, here was this drinking, smoking, partying man who didn’t even tell people I existed, risking incredible vulnerability to share his heart.

There are no words to describe how powerful that was.


Behind the Veil 15

The Guardians reported in.

“She’s becoming stronger, sir.”

“Her desire to know You is intense; we are working quite consistently to answer each request.”

“The repair on the Heart is progressing well; significant foundational pieces have been grafted into place.”

“This one is quite determined, sir. Resilience has done his job well!”

There was a smile, a gleam.

This one was born in Zion. This one is Mine…”

“The best prayers, sir! Praying for wisdom, praying to understand You and Your ways.”

“Sir, the threads with which we are stitching this heart together are stronger than most.

There must be something specific in Your plan, in this one’s future?”

Look just outside the Realm…

In the shadows, in the darkness, Destroyer was re-assembling marksmen.

A lot of them.

Many of the same names as the earlier troops. Most larger in size.

Along with the marksmen, an additional creature was seen.

A wolf.

Cunning, crafty, quick.

Deceptive, persistent, lethal.

“So she has many battles ahead.”

She will become a Champion soon.

‘Remind me again: how does the Warrior become a Champion?’

 

More intense battles. Deeper suffering.

Unspeakable grief, which is the only place to find the deepest expression of peace.

‘Still sounds upside down.’

Indeed.


The Power of Conviction

Didn’t know I had another stepmother until he mentioned it.

Had no reason not to meet her; curiosity combined with a ‘let’s get it all done now’ attitude to see what she might have to say.

Meeting itself didn’t last long; its impact is still deep and profound.

Family restaurant, dad’s home town.

No real pleasantries, not much small talk.

Just a declaration, and a threat.

She didn’t know about me before I showed up, didn’t want to know about me now.

“If you do anything to come between me and my husband, I will kill you.”

My face must have had some kind of “yeah, right” look to it.

“In case you don’t believe me, I’ve killed for him once before.”

Seems not too many years prior she had become pregnant.

Dad didn’t want a baby around, told her to go have an abortion.

Unfortunately, she listened.

Dinner meeting over.

Never saw her or spoke to her again.

Not too many years later, they got divorced.

Watched my back  –  and my kids  –  pretty closely for a while after that.

Main accomplishment of this meeting: solidified the gratitude and pride already established for my mom.

She felt the same pressure, from the same man, to choose abortion.

She chose life.

Significantly inconvenienced herself.

Defied the “odds” that said her child would never amount to anything.

Lost the man she loved.

To give me life.

She remains my hero.


Finding My Father

Arranged to meet him in a bar; used his real name to ask the bartender if he was there. Apparently, no one ever called him his real name.

It was pretty obvious I was an outsider.

“Buck will be here soon; he’s always here. And who are you?”

“He’s expecting to meet me here” was my non-answer.

Found a table to wait; attempted not to notice all eyes in the room on me, wondering…

Saw him walk in. Two things let me know beyond a shadow of a doubt this was the man I was waiting for.

First, all eyes in the place went to him, then me, then back to him…

Second:  Mom was right. I look a lot like my father.

Vague pleasantries as he sat down.

Then “So you’re the one who’s been looking for me.”

“Yes”

“Most folks don’t know I have a daughter.”

“I can see that….”

No matter how we try to drown them, lies always manage to find their way to the surface.

Heard about two sons he had  –  he explained I ‘had’ two brothers, there’s one left.  Vince, who had been my same age had died in some kind of tragic accident.  Tony was a bit younger, involved in racing, and had moved out of the area.

Seemingly out of the blue, he made a statement that told me a lot about him, his heart, and how he lived his life.

“God’s pretty ticked off at me for not taking care of you. Sometimes I think that’s why Vince died.”

“I’m sure that’s not the case” was all I could think to say.

At the end of our meeting, he asked permission for his current wife to call me. “I know she’d want to meet you.”

Stepmother.

Another piece in the puzzle.

Sure.

Permission granted, numbers exchanged. Took her call just a few days later.

It was a meeting I will not soon forget.


Affinity from a Distance

I remember interviewing the late Rich Mullins while working in Christian radio. He spoke a phrase in my studio that has come back often:  “As much as I know how to love, I love God.”  That sentence holds a tremendous depth of spiritual truth.

It also held true for this abandoned heart, toward my mom. As much as I knew how to love, I deeply loved her.

The heart that looked like a colander for so long was being repaired in so many deep places. Work that only the Father could do through His Spirit continued. His was the strongest, most complete Healing. His was the divine plan for the step-by-step process to rebuild the Warrior’s heart, preparing it to grow into a Champion for Him.

Deep within there was a sense of things ‘coming together’, where for so long there had been such significant caverns. With the parts of my heart that were healing daily and growing stronger, there was a gradual connecting to the one I had wondered about all my life.

The one who did what she could to make it easy for me to find her, if I ever chose to.

And even though I was 25 before I met her, some unique similarities were discovered.

She loved working security for a retail store, earning the nickname “scruffer”.

She loved to drive really fast….

Had an affinity for diet coke and spicy foods.

Deep love for books & reading.

No problem speaking her mind, held stubbornly to what she believed was right and true.

As much as I knew how to love, I grew to love her deeply.

This one who helped fill in so many pieces of the ‘puzzle’ that was the first year and a half of my life, as well as her own pain-filled past.

One of those pieces was a name.

Of a man.

Someone I apparently looked a lot like.


Finding My Hero

How does one plan to meet the person whose veiled image has crossed their mind for 25 years?  What type of emotions do you prepare for as you get closer and closer to the one your heart has missed so deeply for as long as you can remember?

Anticipation of having questions answered.

Apprehension that the answers may cause more pain.

Will the gaping hole in the heart begin to be filled, or further torn?

Will she recognize me?

At the end of the airport terminal, I had my answer to that question.

“I know who you are…you look just like your father.”

She stood five foot “nothing”.

Feisty written all over her face.

A smile that brightened her eyes  –  and yours.

A laugh that was more like a snicker most times, making you wonder what she was really up to.

Eyes that were bright, animated, energetic.

Except when she was still  –  which was admittedly rare. When she was still, her eyes showed a depth of pain that few ever stopped long enough to see. Of those who could see, few understood.

Eyes that looked a lot like mine.

I would discover soon enough why she said I looked like my father.

For that time of discovery, I found a fellow abandoned heart. One scarred by the world’s unkindness, wounded by her own mistakes.

Eyes that could laugh and scheme and play with the best.

Eyes that cried herself to sleep more often than most.

Eyes that told so many stories, yet protected so many more.

I found my hero.