Category Archives: Healing through love

There is one remedy that is universal and timeless. Real love, both given and received, has the power to heal our deepest wounds.

To the parents of a teen attracted to the same sex

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Today I write to parents who are in pain because their child is in pain. Dealing constructively with same-sex attraction is uncharted territory and everyone is stumbling their way through.

Let’s call them Charlie’s Mom and Dad.

Dear Charlie’s Mom and Dad,

You are tired.

family7Changing diapers and teaching Charlie to not touch a hot stove seem like a long forgotten paradise compared to what you are navigating right now.

I know that your knees are bruised and bloody, not only from stumbling and falling through this uncharted journey, but also from hours spent in pleading prayer.

You can’t kiss Charlie’s hurt and make it better this time.

But then, you may not be sure you want to.

Ah, perhaps this is the place to begin.

Continue reading To the parents of a teen attracted to the same sex

Letters to those who may feel lost

Last May a distant cousin wasn’t able to cross back over that blurred line between what is real and what is not and became lost in suicide.

Since we shared the almost inexplicable symptoms of bipolar depression, I was able to partially insert myself into his shoes and understand just how hard the daily battle is.

Since I am a husband and father and son, I was able to partially insert myself into his family’s shoes and understand a small portion of just how much pain a tragedy such as this brings.

warriorIn response, I tried to speak for this bright and energetic and accomplished man I called Sam. I felt that Sam’s family deserved to understand a bit of what was going through his mind, and that Sam deserved to be seen not as a victim, but as one who had fought valiantly for as long as he could.

So I wrote a letter from Sam to all who may have known him, and were hurting.

That being said, I think it may be a good time to try to help those who feel like they are on opposing sides of some difficult issues. It’s important to understand that the supposed battle lines can in fact be brought into a loop which encircles everyone to be united in helping each other.

Continue reading Letters to those who may feel lost

Yep, it’s a big bad world out there – but it’s also an amazingly great world in here

A few days ago our niece was scheduled to be in a talent show at the high school. Being three people with two cars (wow, there’s another of those first-world problems, right?) I was driving Ann in to work so I could attend the assembly.

The skies were crisp and clean and piercing. As we headed west, the sun was just warming the top third of the Wellsville mountain range.

It was pretty spectacular (almost as much as was the company).

When I arrived at the school, my sister was watching out for me in the auditorium. We sat right up front in the middle of all the students.

flag2As the lights began to dim, I could see that the room was filled to capacity. Without warning, everyone was on their feet and I was thrilled when everyone in the audience stood, loudly and clearly pledging allegiance to the flag.

No one had to be asked, or begged, or shamed into it.

It was obviously just a part of how they did things; part of who they are.

There was moment when I noticed the principal standing in the doorway – but he’s the only adult I ever saw.

The student association directed the program, gave announcements, invited everyone to the party after the ballgame, and told us all what a RAD time it would be.

I was blown away at the talent. For the next hour we listened to singing, rapping, piano and guitar playing and watched dancing, juggling, glow-in-the-dark yo-yos, and an excerpt from the upcoming school musical.

That would have been enough to keep my attention.

But the performance wasn’t the thing that we all needed to watch closely.

It was the natural behavior of the students themselves.

Continue reading Yep, it’s a big bad world out there – but it’s also an amazingly great world in here

To really help the mentally ill, it takes two

A great friend asked me a bit ago about ideas on how she can help and support someone who is mentally ill. Her heart breaks for those she loves, and she wants desperately to help, but she just isn’t sure what to do.

I’m glad she asked.

I wish that more people would.

eyes2Certainly it is easier as a society to make sure that all of us crazies don’t have any access to guns, or that we should increase funding for hospital beds, or find ways to ensure medication is taken even when the person is so very tired of the side effects.

We can all possibly agree that these are steps that help those on the outside feel better about the situation. Just like with so many issues we face today, we like generic solutions that let us pat ourselves on the back, and then walk away.

But there is no walking away from mental illness – for either the one who is actually ill, or the ones worn weary from the daily toll of trying to love them.

Continue reading To really help the mentally ill, it takes two

My New Year’s Prayer 

It was probably 15 years ago when I bought cheap lanyards for our store team to wear. I wanted something to hold the keys to the dressing rooms as well as laminated cards with reminders of the current store promotions.

Several of them had the letters WWJD repeated in bright colors.

I had no idea what it meant.

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After my team laughed at my continuous naiveté, I decided we would still use them. Heck, I was never very good at political correctness anyway.

Now, perhaps not as naïve as I used to be, but still full of hope for mankind, I understand that it is in fact the real question that we have to be asking if we want to change the natural course of human events.

It’s the only question that can change human nature.

What would Jesus do?

Not just the Sunday School answers, but what would He really do? What DID He ACTUALLY do?

Continue reading My New Year’s Prayer