Even as I sit here this rainy afternoon, my youngest, Rocker Son is loading boxes up & taking them across town to his "own" house. He is sharing a rental with three other guys. The description of the house is sketchy; 3 bedrooms, he will be in the corner of the long living room. All the bedrooms lead to one bathroom that must be reached by walking through every bedroom! Interesting!
He is walking out of our environment & into one of his own making. I don't think he realizes how the safety & peace of our home has influenced him & given him a restful refuge when life has through tough stuff at him. He is just happy to be getting away & that is right & healthy for a 23 year old man. I gave him this letter a few days ago & received a smile & warm hug in return......
Dear "Rocker Son",
A few months ago when you were ready to move out I felt that I still had important things to tell you, so I began to write them out because I was not sure how often I would see you once you no longer lived here. I do apologize for the first thing, but it honestly came to my mind first so I am not deleting it. The rest of the list I do not apologize for.
~ Your Dad & I are really looking forward to being Grandparents. We talk about it often! But please, let it happen on PURPOSE; don’t allow it to be a mistake. Thanks!
~ I am very PROUD of the man you have become. I love your loyalty to your friends & your humor.
~ I want to thank you for your respectful & gentle treatment of me even when you have seen that I may not agree with you.
~ Dad & I are also impressed at your HONESTY about spiritual things & your refusal to “fake it” in any way. That honesty gives us hope that you are not closed to the possibility that God is real & that He actually does know you & love you.
~ I’m not sure if Dad & I have said this out loud to you, but we ask your FORGIVENESS for insisting on sending you to Jr. High at "Private School". Our decision was based on FEAR & that is never good. We were afraid of bullies & drugs at a public school, but it turns out that religious hypocrisy & ridiculous rules were much more damaging to your happiness & confidence. We are sorry for placing you in a school that hurt you rather than helped.
~ I believe that it is very possible that the PICTURE of God that you have picked up from School, church/Sunday school & us was the wrong picture of who He is.
~ I challenge you to find out for yourself who God really is. Don’t shut Him down based on your 13-year-old HISTORY of Him.
~ That history was about you asking questions of a FALSE idea of a god that we gave you. All those RULES & boundaries & limits to freedom. Loving God is not about getting rid of sin or being sure to obey all the rules in the Bible. God is not obsessed with sin.
~ Dad & I regret what we presented to you as God. Hopefully you have seen us CHANGE in the last few years. Have you seen us get more relaxed & less angry & stressed? We now know God to be much more open, loving, kind & joyful. KNOWING that, has given us more freedom to ENJOY life without worrying about rules & regulations. Those qualities of JOY & peace do not exist along with the strict rules & regulations about “proper Christian life.”
~ Feel free to explore who He really is.
~ Practical Notes: Washing ALL your clothes one day a week is much more economical than little loads all week.
~ Be sure to lock your house doors at night & when you are away.
~ Think about putting garbage in an actual garbage CAN in your room instead of on the floor! Ha!
~ Be strong about what you allow to happen in your house legal-wise. You could be innocent but the residents of a house are RESPONSIBLE for all that happens there.
~ I love you & wish I had given you more hugs, even thru force!
~ Please don’t be too proud to CALL if you need anything.
~ Please keep up your good Designated Driver system. One mess-up could ruin your or someone else’s life.
~ A really good tip for treatment of girls: Treat them ALL as if they were your BEST friend’s wife.
~ Because of what I know about you, I have no doubt at all that you will make someone a WONDERFUL husband someday!
~ God is NOT impatient or exasperated or even a LITTLE bit disappointed in you. God truly likes you R.S..
Just like you are TODAY.
Please believe this.
YOU ARE LOVED "Rocker Son"