I went shopping Friday (is this ALL I do?) with my neighbor whose also my good friend. We had a great time talking and shopping- until the ride home. I suppose she meant well. She began asking me questions about my second son.
He has not suddenly gotten better. Wednesday I talked with another friend who asked me how he was and when I told her she said "I guess I thought because you don't mention him that he'd gotten better." And I think my neighbor thought the same thing. So on the ride home she picked and picked at the wound until I felt overwhelmed about it.
It's been a particularly hard week when it comes to my boy. I discovered he'd spent the night in jail for public drunkenness back in September. He stopped showing up for work at Chick-fil-A and subsequently, was fired. He's working for a caterer who doesn't actually have him on the payroll so as soon as the busy season is over, he'll be jobless. It's hard, dealing with this grief for the living. Sometimes it's even too painful to allow myself to hope. I think I am, at those times, like my friends; if I don't look too closely or think of him too often, I'll discover that he's suddenly gotten better.
But there is nothing about his recovery that will be sudden. Each moment that he comes to my mind, and that is constant, I give him to the Lord. I remind myself that Jesus is already at work in him and I am thankful knowing that however low my son falls, Jesus is there with him. When I feel that I am powerless to help my son, I remember that I have power in my faith in the Author of Life, the redeemer who died for us all.
After dinner, many came up to speak and to thank her (Ruth Bell Graham) for her honest, open sharing. I (Gigi Graham Tchividiian) noticed one distinguished, well-dressed woman who hung back, waiting for a chance to speak. Tension was evident and she struggled to hold back the tears. When the crowd cleared, she approached mother timidly, hesitantly.
"My son died of an overdose of drugs," she said with difficulty, "Do you think I will see him again in heaven?"
Mother, although not knowing any of the details, saw before her a mother with a heavy heart. She answered, "If you heard a timid knock on your door one day, and you answered the knock only to find your child standing there, bruised, wounded, bleeding, dirty, and tattered, what would you do? Slam the door in his face? Or would you throw open the door and welcome him into your arms?"
Suddenly, this mother's face registered relief. I saw the load lift from her shoulders as the tears flowed down her cheeks, because she knew she was hearing from a mother who knew what it was to have a prodigal. They hugged each other, and the woman turned and disappeared into the crowd. From the foreword by Gigi Graham Tchividiian to Ruth Bell Graham's book Prodigals (and Those Who Love Them)