Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Fathers and sons
I spent much of this last weekend helping my dad hang siding on his house. We got a lot done and enjoyed working together. That might not seem remarkable, but up until a couple of years ago we didn't have a very good relationship. Nothing particularly interesting, just a typical American story of white bread family dysfunction. What changed our relationship was that I learned to forgive.

There wasn't one moment or one great event that changed me, but rather a slow turning of the tide. This also corresponded with a deepening of my faith. I decided that I wasn't going to let my anger, disappointment, fear, and frustrations keep me from having a relationship with my dad. It took a while, but now I really value having him in my life and I am very thankful that my daughter will know her grandfather.

I think as I came to realize the power of grace through God's love I was able to be more forgiving. For me it was an amazing transformation. My sisters, on the other hand, are a different story. They are angry, and probably rightly so, to some extent. But their anger is poisoning any possibility of having a meaningful relationship with our dad. It makes me incredibly sad that they cannot respond to the positive changes he's made in his life with forgiveness. I wish I knew a way to get through to them. But maybe they'll just have to get there on their own.

So today I rejoice in the opportunity to work side-by-side with my dad. As a new father I am especially grateful to be reconnecting with my dad. Thank God for grace!

Speaking of grace, What's So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancey, is an absolutely fantastic book. Not theologically complex, but powerful, challenging and wonderful all the same. Read Yancey's interview at Sojourners too - great stuff. While Yancey is a conservative, he is very thoughtful and honest. While I disagree with some of his beliefs, I respect his intellectual honesty and integrity.



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