We have to help him.

I had a conversation about my dad’s current situation with my 4 year old yesterday.

I don’t remember how my dad came up… something about going to see him in the future or going to Legoland or Disneyland or something??

Anyway, it went something like this:

Me: Well… we can’t go see him because grandpa is in jail.

AJ: Why is he in jail?

Me: Because he had a fight and he bit someone.

AJ: Who put him in jail?

Me. The policeman.

AJ: And we have to tell the policeman to take him out?

Me: No, grandpa has to stay in jail because he did something bad.

AJ: So we can’t see him because he’s in jail?

Me: Yeah.

AJ: But why did the policeman put him in jail?

Me: Well, when you have an argument with someone, are you supposed to bite them?

AJ: No…

Me: That’s right! We talk it out. Well, grandpa got very angry and instead of talking, he bit someone.

AJ: And he was bleeding?

Me: Yes.

AJ: A lot a lot a lot?

Me: Probably.

AJ: And biting is bad?

Me: Yes.

AJ: So that’s why he’s in jail for a long long long time?

Me: Yes.

AJ (Getting teary eyed): ….  We have to help him!

I was surprised that AJ wanted to “help” his grandpa get out of jail. I guess family is family?

In all seriousness, I don’t think he quite gets the concept of criminal activities and jail and lawyers, etc… but wow.. that little kid. The hubby and I always joke that he’s going to bring us a lot of heartache but there’s this compassionate side of him that amazes me. I made a voice recording of the end of the convo so I could remember the moment in the future. And I guess blogging about it helps too?

In my recovery group, we talk about helping others as if it was a bad thing. It’s linked to co-dependency and we talk a lot about boundaries and self care and detachment… and a lot of people attribute it to having grown up with alcoholic parents. But I think that’s not the entire truth. What’s wrong with wanting to help others? Service gets such a bad wrap. All the messages in the world says looks out for number one. But Jesus said to lose your life to gain it, right? I mean, I get it. I can’t give to the point of resentment. But the desire to help someone, to rescue them, the desire itself is not wrong. It’s only wrong if you are doing it to serve yourself. To get something in return. Or to manipulate them afterwards. Even a four year old gets that…. I think.

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Ponderings

Learned recently that someone I know passed away.

This person… I was full of judgement towards this person. I barely had one short conversation with this person but I judged them based on their looks and the behavior that I saw. What I didn’t know was this person’s story. This person had had more than their fair share of life’s troubles and tribulations. This person had major health issues, that I couldn’t tell by looking. Full of judgement, was I. Towards this person that I was called to love.

Maybe I am being too harsh on myself? But one of my words for the year was “not judging.” That year, I started to become aware of how much I judge people. Before that year, I really thought I wasn’t all that judgmental. I’m thankful that God only reveals my sinfulness in little bits… so that it’s not too overwhelming.

I have told myself that if my father or mother died, that I would not be too affected. This death has made me reconsider. We don’t have a great relationship, my father and mother and I. I am OK with it. I have learned not to go to the hardware store, expecting candy. But maybe I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Maybe I’ve put up walls instead of boundaries. Maybe I’ve hardened my heart towards them just a tad bit too much. Maybe I can start by being open… and letting my heart grow soft again.

This praise song has been on my mind. I can’t seem to get it out. Have you ever heard it? It’s old school I can’t seem to find a good version on YouTube but here are the lyrics.

 

Face to Face by Mark Altrogge

Jesus, I love you. For when I was blind and lost.

You shed for all your enemies, your blood upon the cross.

Because you have loved me, now I can love you to.

Your love flows deep into my heart and I send it back to you.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much deeper.

Sustained from above by your overflowing grace.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much sweeter.

And someday we shall be together, face to face.

 

Truly, because God has loved me, now I can love him too…