Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Help Us Accept Each Other

this morning as i sit down to write, i am pushed for time. at the same time, i feel the need to avoid rushing myself, and i hope that i find that there is ample time to say what i want to say. so often, i discover at times that are the most hectic, slowing down produces abundant time for all that is needful, and that this is my experience this morning.

for the past couple of years we have had our adult son at home with us, living in our little guest house that was originally built for my wife's mother when she was no longer able to live independently. it has been a joy to have him here, because he is one of the kindest, most gentle people i know, and, even if he weren't, we would still love having him with us simply because he is our son.

my wife loves seeing that he has a good breakfast and a good dinner. she fixes him a lunch to take to work most days, and she insists on washing his clothes, even though he has assured her repeatedly that she doesn't need to do all these things for him. this time of having him here has given her the best of the "empty nest" experience while still being able to mother her youngest child. even though he's not in the house with us, she knows that he is only a few steps away whenever she wants to see him.

he plans to move to a lovely area about five hours away from us. he has saved up to be able to afford the move and to support himself for several months, even though he has no job lined up there yet. we have to support what makes him happy, but it is with mixed emotions that we look toward his departure. we will both miss him terribly, but it is his mother that will suffer the most because she won't be able to do all the little things for him that she has enjoyed doing.

as i've thought about our son's imminent departure, i have realized how interconnected we all are. i will miss giving him a hug and wishing him well as he leaves for work each morning. i will miss his table graces at our evening meal. i will miss seeing his smile every day and hearing about his dreams of life in a new and beautiful place. i know, though, that the anticipation of being on his own once more, of being more fully independent, fills his heart with joy, and i understand how he feels. he must follow his own path and we must encourage him, though it pains us to see him leave.

my prayer for him, for my wife and i, and for all of us is that we can do what makes our heart sing, that we grant others the freedom to experience life on their own terms, and that we lovingly give up the desire to control the lives of others. shalom.

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