Last month we shared the background of our beloved "James," who runs the audio department here at K-House. James grew up without the love of a father, and thus, the desire for a father's love consumed him throughout his whole life.
After the death of his stepfather, James began praying for his mother, Margaret, to find a Christian man who would pamper her and treat her specially. He wanted to see her blessed in a God orchestrated relationship, because he had witnessed how she had remained so faithful to Him throughout the long years of pain and suffering with his stepfather.
One day God compelled Margaret to call one of her ex-sisters-in-laws just to catch up. She had not been in contact with anyone from that side of the family for over 40 years. Shortly after that conversation, she received an unexpected call from James' dad, Manuel. They began to talk and Manuel nervously invited her to lunch. She accepted. It had been 40 years since she had seen her first love.
Within a short time after their meeting, she knew without a doubt that he was a changed man. He was apologetic throughout lunch for the way things had turned out. He asked if he could see her again and she said yes.
Thus began their dating relationship. It wasn't long before the spark between them returned - forty years after it was originally ignited.
Margaret was concerned about how James might be affected by her sudden renewed love, so she called and gently broke the news to him. At first James was shaken because he didn't even know that his father was still alive. Then, he had overwhelming feelings of apprehension. This was the man who tried to kill him while he was in his mothers' womb. This was the man who wasn't around while he was growing up and this was the man who caused him years of heartache and suffering. Could it be that he had changed that much?
James swallowed hard and said, "Mom, what about the time he hurt you. Wasn't he trying to cause you to miscarry, because he didn't want me?"
Margaret paused on the other end of the line, and then she said, "Oh, James, where did you get that idea? He was thrilled when I told him I was pregnant with you. Your father hurting me had nothing to do with you. I simply knew how to push his buttons and I used you as an excuse. We were both young and foolish. James, he's a totally changed man, now!"
James broke down and cried. His dad had wanted him! He hadn't tried to kill him. What he had believed his whole life was a lie!
Correspondence began between the two of them when James sent a card with a few "well-chosen" kind words. Manuel responded. It was uncomfortable, at first, because they didn't know each other. But, gradually, a long-distance relationship began to form.
Their first conversation occurred when Manuel called to tell him that he had always loved Margaret and that he wanted to marry her. He promised James he would take very good care of her. So, on February 10th of this year, Margaret married the man she had loved for over forty years, and who now was a new creation in Christ.
When James received their wedding video he cried when he saw how happy his mom was. James's prayers had truly been answered.
James chose to obey God when he didn't feel like it, when he didn't want to, and even when he didn't think it would work. He chose to walk in the two commandments the Lord spoke of in Matthew 22:37-39, which was "to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind... to love your neighbor as thyself." James learned to love God in a new way by becoming an open and cleansed vessel so that God could love through him.
He realized his only responsibility was to be willing to forgive the people from the past who had hurt him and to love God. God would, in His time and in His way, be the One who would change his feelings (taking the hurts completely away) and enable him to totally forgive.
A personal note from James:
Fathers, cherish your time with your children. We represent God the Father to our family. In many ways they will learn how to relate to the Lord from the way they relate to you. I grew up without a father, and my mother tried to do the best she could. In fact, I couldn't have asked for a more loving and caring mother, but she couldn't fill the void left by the absence of my father.
Your sons will learn how to be fathers by watching you. Spend as much time as you can with them, teaching by example.
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Precious Father, prepare us and use us to grow something beautiful for You.
In the name of Jesus, the Kinsman-Redeemer,
King's High Way Manager