Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Broken and Contrite Heart

This Christmas as great as it was just sped by way too fast for my wife and me.
So much has transpired over the years spending Christmas together as a young married couple without children for the first seven years until our first-born came along, and then three years later our last child.
So many Christmases and so many emotions attached to this seasonal highlight, some wonderful and some not so good at all.
This past Christmas was one of the best, if not the best one ever. Our son lives not that far away from us within our own neighborhood and our daughter was home for two weeks from university.

Normally when our daughter is home we get to see her in bits and pieces as she is one very popular girl amongst so many friends home at the same time for the season. This time was so different; she recognized her felt need to decompress and chill-out after a grueling time of studying so hard all year, accelerated with some major pre-Christmas exams. She didn’t tell any of her friends she was coming home. Compared to other years, it was like having her home all the time; so cool to walk out into the living room or where ever in the house only to see her enjoying herself so richly.

It is always a joy to see the growing, deepening, healing and reconciling taking place between our son and our daughter after so many very difficult years in their teens. Siblings can be so hurtful to one another.

A week ago last Friday I had to go our family clinic to see the staff-appointed doctor because ours was on holidays, because of a week long lung/bronchial chest cold that had started the Friday before with but a very sore throat.
I was prescribed a very powerful medicine along with an antibiotic. The stronger of the two made me feel as if I was on speed, just vibrating, not a good feeling at all.
In much of my past as a Christian in not truly, really experientially knowing the power of the Father’s love, I acted more like a son-of-a-bitch than a son of God. I am making NO excuses or trying to scapegoat on this at all, just sharing how at a deep, deep level within me experiencing what it means to be loved so totally and unconditionally has slowly freed me to begin living loved.

My children are seeing for the first time over the recent years what a true dad/father might just look and act like only because of me being Fathered all over again, only this time it’s being done with a perfect God and Father.
All of my time this Christmas, whenever I had time to spend with our daughter, it was rich beyond words. But last night an old button got pushed in me when I simply asked our daughter a question - only to totally misinterpret her reply.
I took it the wrong way and was hurt, going to bed without saying good night to my wife or daughter, but not being able to sleep because of the speed-like medication I was on, I slowly saw the truth of the situation and relinquished my stupidity to His healing heart.

I couldn’t wait for morning to come that I might ask my daughter for her forgiveness. In sharing what I wanted/needed to about the previous night’s fracas she said, “Dad, there is no need to apologize at all. I didn’t take your actions the wrong way.”
I said, “But my precious daughter, I need you to forgive me. I was so wrong, and there’s no excusing myself because of my medication either.” I went on to share with her that I never want ever to hurt any of my loved ones, wife, son or her. She said “I know, but I also know the truth about who you are now.”
Wow, what healing in those loving and powerful words she spoke to me as we embraced each other with me crying like a baby.

A broken and contrite heart is a pleasing thing to the father, unlimited healing, restoration; reconciliation flows from our inner being, as if a dam has been broken. I so want to continue receiving His total love for me that I might live loved and see Him free so may others.



Tracy Simmons said...

Rich, this was so, so beautiful. Thanks for opening your heart and life to share with us.

Rich said...


What a pleasure this was.
It’s hard for me to take it all in relationally with my kids especially the healing, reconciliation and restoration that seems to be flowing with a new vigorous vitality like the sap speeded up within the trees in the spring.

I am more often than not being very sappy, blubbering, crying as a result of receiving what I know I do NOT deserve.
If there is a living legacy-inheritance I want left for my children, it’s them seeing in me before I go to be with Father for ever, someone living as one of His sons modeling out what it means to be a man after His heart.
The truest expression of that reality was and is demonstrated in our elder brother Jesus Christ!

Dave Aldrich said...

That was beautiful indeed, Rich. There is hope for me yet. Someday I may again appear not so foolish in my son's eyes. :-)

Rich said...

That was beautiful indeed, Rich. There is hope for me yet. Someday I may again appear not so foolish in my son's eyes. :-)


Thanks bro, as you know far better than most in my life as I have slowly opened it up to you, the hellishness of trying to be anything relationally to our closest loved ones when it is at best only theory, “concepts!”

I am persuaded that He is using the foolishness of His wisdom to confound first and foremost me in how even my blindness is all working out according toward a day of feasting and partying with my kids in the reality of one who was so blind, dead, but now sees what it means, to live loved.

You continually encourage me in our shared faith!!

Ruth said...

HI Rich, Wow that was awesome to read & think about. Being a parent, I can completely understand how powerful your daughter's words and embrace must have been to you, a balm to your heart.

When you said, "I am making NO excuses or trying to scapegoat on this at all, just sharing how at a deep, deep level within me experiencing what it means to be loved so totally and unconditionally has slowly freed me to begin living loved" I just wanted you to know that is exactly how this was conveyed. I pray that Father is using this medium, (of your sharing here with us) as a part of moving deeper into that unconditional place of being free in His love. The wonderful thing is that as we get free, as we are being loved, we in turn are loving others as we too have been loved.
Awesome Rich!

Dave Aldrich said...

And that beautifully said, Ruth!

Rich said...


These responses from you and the others are making it so easy to want to be more fully known for Who’s I am and who I am in that light-Thank You to all!

It is my desire to be able to lift my growing children up upon my shoulders and launch them way further into all Father has for them that they as well will become living examples-patterns of living loved.

Ruth I received such tremendous healing from Papa through your heart felt and love directed words here, thank you dear sister!