To be emotionally dead…then live again.
It was mid-morning; I was in my early 20’s married to my first wife with two boys, Adam and Jamie. The Yom Kippur Holiday service at the little Orthodox synagogue was always longer than I liked so I arrived late.
I had gotten up early so I could worship with my Dad along with 82 Holocaust survivor members, people who remained faithful in their obedience to their God.
My Dad had been praying for hours already when I came into the service.
My Dad lost two children and a wife in the death camps. As you can imagine, to my parents, I was their sole reason for living, a special gift from God after the war.
My wife at the time did not like my parents, even though it was my parents who always came through for us in the beginning of our marriage with money and groceries …and never said a word to us about their help.
My parent’s only joy was to see me and their grandchildren. It had been several weeks since I allowed them their joy.
When I arrived, and took my place next to my Dad he turned towards me. The look on his face was one of compassion for me…but there were tears in his eyes. Then as if forcing his expression to change he became angry and he said I should follow him out of the synagogue.
My mother that morning was crying deeply…why had she not heard from her son for almost 6 weeks, why could she not see her grandchildren, he blurted out. It was more than my Dad could bear, to see the woman he loved so deeply at this late stage of her life be in so much emotional pain.
My Dad with tears told me he never wanted to see me again, that I was dead to both him and my mother…then he began to walk back towards the synagogue without me…back to his God to whom he would pray for strength, solace, and for peace in this new emotional pain. To hear those words, see his face and feel his new agony that I had inflicted was more than I could bear. I began yelling for him to stop and wait, he didn’t. I yelled loudly to him, he turned and I passed out and fell to the ground.
He ran to me and fell to his knees, cradled and held me, crying that he was sorry. Can you imagine… HE ran to me and said HE was sorry. What had he done? Nothing…I did it all! I had become insensitive to the greatest love of all, the love of a father for their child.
Like you I grew up in a family with relatives. There were always plenty of people to wipe away my tears; Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, my Mom and Dad. Yet, when I think of someone wiping away my tears I think of my Dad.
That morning so many years ago in front of the synagogue, with my Father rocking me back and forth, holding me in his arms, tears streaming down his face, wiping away my tears, with people walking by staring at us, offering His forgiveness when it was me who caused him pain…changed my attitude and my emotions and my life.
His hands were rough and callused, his fingers crooked and long. Years ago in the old country his grandmother chased him upstairs trying to hit him with a rod. To get away he jumped head first from a two-story window, breaking his fall with his hands.
There was something in my Father’s touch that took away more than the drop of hurt from my cheek. It took away my fear of rejection.
“The Apostle John says that someday God will wipe away your tears. The same hands that stretched the heaven will touch your cheeks. The same hands that formed the mountains will caress your face. The same hands that curled in agony as the Roman spike cut through will someday cup your face and brush away your tears. Forever.” (Max Lucado)
The theme of the Book of Revelation is one of rewards for those that believe in the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God. That reward is to go home. If my earthly father Armin can show so much sacrificial love to me his son when it was I who caused his pain.
Then how much more sacrificial love does the Father of us all have in sending His Only SON to die on that Cross in place of me, the one who caused HIS PAIN.
This life I have lived for 70 years now is held together by Joy…because of what awaits me when I get home. Like Abraham before me I too am a vagabond looking for a city whose builder and maker is God, to a city with eternal foundations in Heaven.
My daily prayer is that those I love and cherish will come to faith and belief in Jesus the Messiah of Israel as their Savior and Lord. And that we can spend Eternity together in Heaven.
If not, I know God is greater than us all and He has promised to wipe away every tear from my eyes and give me peace; as I live among my new family of Born Again Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ…Forever. My earthly family then will become the forever FORGOTTEN… because they never became One of the FORGIVEN.
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