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What's Ahead?

Oh my! I think I was handed what I did not ask for, but maybe what I needed. Most of us are aware of tragedy and comedy in Shakespearean plays, but it’s all over our lives.

My family has been blessed this week with a son and granddaughter visiting, a house full of laughter, love, and more laughter. Mixed-in with that goodness and comedy was a gout attack, a son’s wonderful wedding, followed by teen grandchildren bickering with one another. Up and down, like a roller-coaster. . . .

Maybe I needed all of it back-to-back to see the breaking and falling apart, the forgiveness, and the new start. John, our son, points out, “It’s been there throughout history. . .” But, we agree, it can take hundreds of years to resolve some differences.

Could that be what’s happening in families, in America? Is it our time to break and fall apart? Easy to see in our individual lives when that happens, but we usually see it after the event. Part of the whole. Turn on television, and there it is: changes, anger, sadness.

I love the America I grew up in. Poor folks hardly getting by, but I was met daily with kindness from people in church, stores, school. When my parents broke apart in 1959 (a tragedy), we children were placed in the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home in Monticello where we were fed, clothed, loved.

Children, every direction; comedy every direction.

These were the days when Americans lived under the fear of polio and Communism. In addition to that, we children knew the tragedy of being abandoned by parents. (Each child in the Home quietly carried his/her own story inside himself/herself.)

It makes perfect sense that I’d wind up being a professional counselor.

Today, it is miraculous that children can carry a load of grief and still laugh at ironies, strange happenings, the stupid stuff.

Back to grandchildren and the people of this century. They are highly aware of uncertainties. They live with tragedies being played out. (My own grandchildren’s mother died last year.)

It’s early morning. One of the grandboys upstairs is moaning in his sleep.

We will take a trip later today to a reunion at the Baptist Home where I grew up. Two children will sit in the backseat with painter’s tape marking a line between them. It will be placed there to help keep peace in the car. (It’s all a grandfather can think to do.) Comic to me.

But what’s ahead?

Where will the love be found when they are thirty years old? Will they be able to see it?

Jesus is love. He is everywhere. I am highly dependent on Jesus to show love to me. Otherwise, I’m liable to miss it.

Must this cracked world bust apart? A monumental tragedy. If so, let us fall for kindness, love, Jesus, trusting that forgiveness and a new beginning will follow. History reveals that this is how it usually plays out. I am talking about families, business, politics.

Painter’s tape is a hilarious solution. Comedy. May actually work for a couple of years, but ultimately, it takes caring, understanding, listening, love by all participants.

Meanwhile, parents and grandparents, let us work every day to teach our children to believe in love, to believe in Jesus. Not only that, but let us teach them that Jesus is working in them, simply because they are Believers.

With that conviction, they can face any problem, no matter what’s ahead.

A granddaughter then enters the room. Light dapples on her face.

God’s love, God’s mercy, new every morning.


Pat Durmon

P. S. - Grateful for any comments made below the photo of the teens with painter’s tape marking their boundaries in a car.

Photo by Pat Durmon of grandchildren with boundaries marked in the car with painter's tape, June 9, 2017.

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