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An Open Heart

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As young as my children are, they have already experienced the deaths of two friends. Both have been to our house on several occasions so I had met them at some point.  Cancer has inflicted other acquaintances and ravaged others to the grave.

We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or more importantly, whether we will have a tomorrow.

The most recent death was a young man who my daughter has known since the first grade. During high school I suppose, he entered the drug culture. Some make it out, others don’t. He didn’t.

What bothers me the most is since I didn’t know his mother, I really had no idea if that young man was exposed to the truth. You know the gospel. Was he saved?  Where was he spending eternity? Is he at peace?

As a parent you get the awesome privilege, or annoyance depending on the situation, of getting to know your kid’s friends. What never strikes any of us is the fact that your child, or your children’s friends just might die. Then the questions come to mind…..was he saved? Was I kind to him? Cordial? Rude? What were the last words I said to him.  Did the countenance on my face show Jesus?

To be brutally honest, I don’t like some of my children’s friends.  I think they are bad influences.  Instead of shining my light on them, I try my best to run them off to keep peace in the pipeline of mother and child.  Wrong?  Probably, but I have taken my share of troubled teens into my tiny home so they can get their crap together and not be  in the streets.  I pray for them and plant some seeds without beating anyone over the head with the Bible.  Sometimes, all a person needs is some kindness.

The world is an unstable and scary place sometimes.  Evil is portrayed as good and good is portrayed as evil.  It must be awful being a teenager these days trying to decipher it all.  Hell, it can be unpleasant just being an adult doing that! Frankly, without God holding my right hand, I’d be curled up in a ball in a corner somewhere sucking my thumb.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is to have a heart for your young person and their friends.  Look them in the eye and sincerely ask how they are doing, how’s school, where do you live, etc.  I’m not my child’s best friend or buddy, but I damn sure need to be engaged in their life, even when they cringe at me for talking to their friends for a few minutes.

Tonight I plan to grab those I love by the neck and give ’em a huge “I luv ya” kiss right there in front of God and everybody!  Cuz life’s too short to lay awake in bed at night wondering about the what ifs.  Especially if you had an opportunity to share the love of Jesus and you didn’t.

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4 Responses to “An Open Heart”

  1. Yankeepolitics
    September 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    That is so rough losing one child and you lost two, that must be extremely difficult! And your right, one must savor every minute that we have with our children and loved ones because only God Knows when our time is up…

    It’s so comforting to know that God is with us no matter what, and we can always call upon Him for reassurance and help!

  2. Ron Shane
    September 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Having lost two of my children had me in a frame of mind that almost smacked of poor me! It also caused a serious impact on my family and friends to the point of almost losing all that I touched. To ignore or forget that Jesus is always holding my hand, shouldering my pain and oft times even carrying me is the worst thing I could have done. I have to thank him everyday, so as to admit my shortcomings and express my love for him is my most important task. The guilt factor of “I shoulda, woulda, coulda” almost destroyed me. So after reading the comments in the last response, I would say that it is straight and to the point and I agree. There IS no way of knowing when a person’s time is up, all we can do is hope and pray for all the troubled kids out there and keep trying to convince them that it’s never too late!…..

    • Dixie
      September 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Ron, I’m so sorry for your loss. I never make light of the pain a parent must feel in losing a child or judge how one reacts to such a loss. I do know that peace comes when we hope in Jesus and it is comforting to know we will see them again in Heaven.

  3. Yankeepolitics
    September 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    I believe it’s very important to plant a lot of seeds because even one little seed can sprout into a beautiful plant or flower. We are called to be witness’s in the world for God no matter where we are or with whom we speak to because the Holy Spirit speaks through us. We are God’s vessel to the world.

    Dixie, you have planted many seeds by opening up your home to the homeless… I believe a Christian should help those in need; however, people also have to make an extra effort to help themselves! It doesn’t mean that we are to allow individuals to walk all over us and take advantage of our kindness. So yes, I amend you for helping some of your children’s friends in need, but when they steal from you, it’s time to ask them to leave.

    Believe me, I have also been in a similar situation, and it’s extremely difficult to ask someone in need to leave your home. Looking at the situation after the fact, I hate to say this, but there is a much better manner in which to help a person besides inviting them to live in your home! Sometimes they just don’t leave! One must set boundaries!

    Yes, love those young people in need and try and help if you can, but don’t let anyone abuse or destroy you! Also express to those who you care about how much they are loved every day because time is very short, and we never know when a person’s time is up until it’s too late…