This is something I do not want to write.
I want to turn my back on it.
To look away.
To close the door.
I do not want to go here.
But your hand compels mine.
Wherever I turn I see you.
You gently remind me of what I need to write.
Write about the struggle within me.
The struggle between head and heart.
The struggle between the truth I know
and how my heart feels.
How I feel.
I know I am your son.
That I have been fully adopted into a new household.
But how I feel is tainted by the model I had in life.
My earthly father is now gone.
He leaves behind so many questions in me.
Questions I know I will not get an
answer to in this life.
As I sat in his funeral I heard testimonies to half a life.
From the second half of his life.
I feel I have been expunged.
As if I did not exist.
I know I am imperfect.
But all I tried to do was to show love.
To demonstrate that there is always forgiveness,
no matter what we have done.
Freely have I been forgiven of much.
Freely I forgive.
To extend the hand of love and acceptance.
To make the offer to walk together across
the bridge of love into a new land.
One where the past is acknowledged but not
allowed to colour the future.
To build on a new hope.
Inwardly I feel rejected.
As if it was an embarrassment for me to
be known as his son.
As if his prior flesh and blood counted for nothing.
And here is my struggle.
What I know in my head but feel in my heart are in conflict.
My eyes read your word and see the truth of
how you see me and your heart of love toward me.
But my heart still feels the pangs of rejection
and being treated as if nothing.
How I wish I could feel your arms around me.
To hear your words of love.
Half of me wants to stay in the background.
To work away behind the scenes.
To avoid the spotlight.
So here I work.
In the half-light of the background.
But you are not content with this.
You send your son to find me.
He finds me.
Where could I possibly hide from him or you?
He calls me by name and by relationship.
“Brother come with me. Our father wants us.”
With his guiding arm about my shoulders we walk together.
From the dimness of the back room to the light of front of house.
In front of many people my heavenly father
hugs me and calls me by name.
He turn to all those present and announces
“This is my son. He conducts business in my name.”
So fully have I been adopted.
Before all those present he acknowledges me.
In the midst of the marketplace
he affirms our relationship.
Something that did not happen in life
has been affirmed in the heavenly realms above.
Oh my father, help my feelings synchronise with
the truth of who I am in you.
Help me understand what it is to have
a heavenly father who fully accepts me.
Help me consign the past to the past.
To leave things of the past in the past.
To look forward and not back.
To look to the hope of the future,
not the disappointment of the past.
To know and feel your loving embrace.
Through all that happened you were there.
Help me to remember the good.
To forgive the things that are past.
To let them go and accept your love and care.
Some of my poems are more personal than others. Some describe a picture God has given me and the walk I have with God through that picture. Others, like this one, describe some of the struggles I have walking the Christian life. As I have said in my “about me” page I never claim to have all the answers. I am very much a “work in progress” item.
I avoided writing this poem or about a month, even though I knew God wanted me to write it. Once I wrote it it’s taken me over two weeks to upload it. I almost did not want to go back to it.
From the outside it looked like I had a good childhood and I certainly never wanted for anything. I was brought up in a nice English middle-class family in a nice village. However from the age of 11 onwards family life got tougher as my Dad’s alcoholism got worse and my Mother took refuge in her shared love of horses with my sister. By the time I was 18 the family had split and for almost 2 years I did not have a family home to come back to. Because of this I do really struggle whenever someone preaches about the “Father-heart of God” or other aspects of the father relationship God has with us. Yes I understand the concept intellectually but I struggle to connect with it emotionally because the only term of reference I have is my earthly father who was not there when I needed him.