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.
Changing 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
Have you ever had the experience where you walked into a crowded room full of strangers?
If you are like me, you felt self-conscious, out of place, and just wanted to turn around and leave.
No one likes to be a stranger among strangers.
Here’s a more important question:
Have you ever had the experience where you walked into a crowded room full of strangers, and immediately felt at home?
If your experience has been like mine, you felt calm as the person next to you reached out and took your hand, offered an introduction, and welcomed you in.
And you in turn welcomed them.
How can this be?
Continue reading Zion isn’t stationary – we take it with us
August is generally the time when families bundle up the sleeping bags, tents and firewood and head to the hills for a reunion.
As a kid, I didn’t enjoy them very much; I’m sure there were a variety of reasons: I didn’t feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, insecurity of what all those people may be thinking about me (because of course they were ALL looking at me, right?), or I just didn’t feel a connection with these people who lived lives so different from the one I lived.
And then of course there was the whole camping thing and spending time in the outhouse. I guess that could have been enough right there.
I was always an alien landing on a new planet and not knowing the language.
My wish was to just close the camper door again and turn around and head back to our own familiar galaxy.
But we didn’t.
Continue reading Cousins, aunts and uncles
It’s starting to feel a little like any violent gun crime is being linked back to a shooter who is labeled as mentally ill. I readily admit that I certainly have no way to know if each individual recently arrested or still awaiting trial after many years is or isn’t mentally ill.
So who does?
That would be the $64,000 question, wouldn’t it?
Ann and I flew back several years ago to the National Institutes of Health to participate in a recommended study by our neurologist. It was here that the mental illness was discovered and we began our personal journey of just what it means to travel through life with a mental disorder.
This included educating ourselves.
Continue reading Are we simply painting mental illness with one broad brush stroke in the end?
For the past few months or so Ann and I figured that our little family foursome has been just about as spread out across the globe as is physically possible.
Alex is in London for the summer and last weekend went to Paris for a quick visit, staring up at the Eifel tower and taking pictures of the Louvre. Nick was in Lima, Peru fighting his way through the thick air and loving everyone along the way.
And of course Ann and I are here in warm and cozy Hyde Park, holding down the fort at home.
It’s an unimaginable reality for this family that spent every evening together and lived for our weekend fun for what was, in fact, a lifetime.
Continue reading Understanding that we can never really go back home