Sunday, February 7, 2010

He Didn't Wait

Saturday night we listened to our youngest son, Josh, play and sing. A week ago he was asked to open for a band that would play at The Loft in Columbus, GA. As only Josh could do, he put together a band and rocked the joint. Song after song, he was applauded with gusto. To our surprise there were probably twenty or more of our friends who came out to see the show, and about seventy-five friends of Josh's that squeezed into the venue where people stood shoulder to shoulder. Several hundred music lovers came and went throughout the evening.

All of our kids are ridiculously talented, but Josh is our Renaissance Man. He has a wide range of interests and talents, and everything he puts his hand and mind to he does it at a high level of competency. He is an impressive young man. Josh has played and sang at the Loft before. We have heard him practice, but we had never heard him perform.

For his finale, Josh introduced a song by saying, "I want to dedicate this song, Requiem of a Good Man, to my father. As one of the lines says, 'He was a good man, but he is gone.' Well my father is still alive and he is here tonight. He is the man back there with really white hair." He pointed me out and introduced Sandy. Josh belted out the song, and the applauds kept coming.

Requiem of a Good Man

Well he stomped with his feet
And he clapped with his hands
He summoned all of his joy when he laughed
It suffered all of his joy when he cried

And sometimes when he got into talking
Man he could rattle on and on
He was a good man and now he's gone

Well in war he was a tiger
When it was over like a dove
He summoned all of his strength in the climb
It suffered all of his strength in the fall

And sometimes when he got into fighting
Man he could fight with you all day long
He was a good man and now he's gone

He put his trust in a higher power
He held his power like a holy grail
He summoned all of his faith in the lifting
It suffered all of his faith to fail

His heart was stronger than a heavy metal bullet
And that's why I dedicate this song
He was a good man and now he's gone

His heart was stronger than a heavy metal bullet
And that's why I dedicate this song
He was a good man and now he's gone

There was a time when I thought I had lost Josh. Alienated for many years, we walked around the elephant in the middle of the room. Like so many young men, his greatest and most grievous wounds had come from his father. In spite of the fact that I pursued the purposes of the God of the Scriptures, as the leader of our household I didn't always get it right. My spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak. My intentions were good, but at critical times my methods were grossly flawed. Mistakenly, I put my standing before the churches I led ahead of my standing before my family. Always, always, always a colossal blunder.

Around the year 2005, during a ten day fast, I believed that God gave me encouragement that our relationship would be restored, and we would Enjoy the Adventure together. Of all places, encouragement came from the very last words of the Old Testament; a passage unlikely to be seen scrawled on a placard as an evangelistic appeal during a nationally televised sporting event, or on Tim Tebow's eye black. Obscure and ancient, the promise comes from God through the prophet Malachi. Surrounded by two hard shelled warnings lies a pearl of hope I believed was the promise of a future restoration.

I will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6

It happened - a God thing. Bleeding has stopped. Wounds are closing. Debris we once stumbled over and barriers we could not see over are gone. Never have Josh's heart and my heart been so closely linked. Now we enjoy a relationship that far exceeds all I asked and prayed for.

Listening to the lyrics and the beautiful voice of my son, I thought of how blessed I am that Josh honored and blessed me in such an unlikely setting. He could have waited to eulogize me.

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