I’ve always loved and admired my dad. He was a brilliant and kind man. The only argument I remember having with him occurred when I was a teenager, of course, and brilliant myself, if not particularly kind. We were arguing about the death penalty, and I was challenging his Old Testament position. “It takes a life,” I countered, “and what can be more important than life?” He knew unequivocally. “Truth,” he said. And that was a defining moment for me, though I’ve never been as certain about truth or the death penalty as he was.
I stumbled over a curious truth about myself a few years back.
My darkest years were when I had three small children. Harry had just opened a new business and was gone basically 6 ½ days a week while I was at home crying and screaming at wild, self-destructive kids. I was drowning in dirty diapers and toys strewn everywhere. When I looked back on those days, I saw nothing but hopelessness and depression.
A few years later Harry and I moved to Chattanooga where now that the kids were in school and I was regaining stability, I started a MOMS group to help others cope better than I had. I could at least put trauma to good use.
It was years after that – years of recounting to myself and those young mothers memories of my frustrations and failures as a parent – that I began reading my journals from those dark years.
What dark years?! I had written about parties and outings, cute sayings and tender moments, funny anecdotes and relaxing sunny afternoons. There was not a sob or a sigh in any of these pages. All I could think was that I never wrote on the bad days. Unaccountably, I recorded only the good times.
So my mind today puzzles over truth. How can I know it? How can I trust my own thoughts when I pick and choose them by some undecipherable algorithm?
But my word for 2018 is Grace, because I’m very thankful that for no discernible reason I kept a record of only the good times, and I’m reminded that in my darkest days there were many, many of them. I’m thankful for Jesus, the embodiment of truth and grace. And I’m thankful for Pam, who talks books and ideas with me and wanders around in a maze of former and newfound certainties with me, seeing as in a glass darkly, but hopeful that now as we know in part, then in Heaven we shall know fully, even as we are fully known. The truth is, it’s all grace.
|Bea told us Harry is full of surprises. First, he surprised her|
by wanting to come to this event. And second, he surprised
her by bringing along a poem to read.