Saying Good-bye to a Son

June 3, 2015

Last week we said good-bye to our twenty-one year old son. This was not the first time he was leaving us, or we were leaving him. It was just another reminder of how separation is part of our lives. It was good to see him packed and ready to go. I know his father was proud of the things he had accomplished with his time here. I stood in the background as they said their last good-byes in the line to enter the airport. The picture speaks a thousand words and this word is a thousand times larger than anything else in the picture, “STAY.”

But he didn’t stay, even though our Liberian immigration people tried to deter him because of passport business, and even though he faced unknown challenges in the trip home, including a two day delay in Brussels. He kept going. Ready for the next step in his life. We are left to pray and trust God for his future.

For pictures of some of the work the Joshua did check out this link:

We had to say good-bye to another son the same week. It was not the same sense of well-being and moving forward. It was with grief and discouragement James asked his foster son, Tony, a boy he has been disciplining since October 2013, to leave. Tony is 27 years old, functionally illiterate, in the tenth grade in high school but not able to read above a grade four level.

Tony is allowing his appetites and dreams to determine his future, rather than walk in the truth and be free. After he returned the keys and took his things from Moses’ apartment where he had been staying he left. We did not know where he would go.

But he knew and he found his place about a mile from New Gate, only to return the same night and rob the place, then come back two nights later and rob us again. Realising the theft was done by our own son is most painful.

Reading the account of Jesus last days with his disciples we are reminded of the knowledge he had of Judas’ character and deceitful ways. I wonder how it was for Christ, walking everyday with someone beside him who was duplious and devising: plotting Chris’t death while sharing his meals. The grief that must have caused for Christ, and yet the grace with which he continued to share the meals.

Oh Lord, give us the grace to extend ourselves beyond our needs and hopes, to trust you with our relationships and know in your time you make all things right.

 

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