Parents, Seeking The Lord’s Heartbeat

Legacy

May brings a time of many memories as well as much sorrow for us. Dad went home to be with the Lord, May 10, 1966. Bobby’s caring grandmother also went home to be with the Lord, May 1981.  Mother’s Day is observed on or near one or both of these days, also my mother is no longer with us but with the Lord.

The legacy that each has passed down is what helps take the memories and sorrows and wraps them all together. The tears that fall down our faces are bitter and sweet.

Even in our deepest sorrow, God cares. Psalm 56:8You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book. (The Living Bible)

Dr. Gary Chapman the author of the Five Love Languages, says that he is convinced that there is only five fundamental ways to express love emotionally: Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Physical Touch.

If my father had taken Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages profile, I believe his primary love language would have been Quality Time. My father could have left his family with the bitterness of an alcoholic but he did not let that overshadow his love for us. His love was poured out by loving words, actions and time spent with us.

“The Mountains Are Calling” was a legacy passed down to me because my father enjoyed greatly the black bears, streams, creeks, water falls and rolling mountains after mountains. That has been a legacy I have passed down to my sons, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Bobby’s grandmother also passed the calling of the mountains to him. She had a sweet spot for Moccasin Creek State Park. Fishing was her enjoyment along with spending time with her family.

My mother was beckoned with both the mountains and the beach. She took great pleasure in watching my father amuse himself with the calling of the mountains. However, she found her cherished spot walking on the beach collecting sea shells with her friend and sister in Christ, Alice, after my father went home to be with the Lord.

If my mother had taken Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love language profile, I believe her primary love language would have been Receiving Gifts. Christmas was my mother’s favorite holiday because she was thrilled not only to receive gifts, but she came alive watching others open their gifts that she had proudly spent the day after Christmas shopping for next years Christmas gifts. Not only did she want to receive and buy gifts, she wanted the gift of your personal time with her.

Besides the love of the mountains, Bobby and I have passed down the love that my dad, my mother and Bobby’s grandmother valued more than the mountains or beach.

Love is a choice and it cannot be coerced. The legacy of love that was passed down from my parents and Bobby’s grandmother was not rude, demanding, manipulating, nagging, flattery, deceitful, or filled with lies.

Nagging might get what you want but criticism; lies and demanding tend to drive wedges and are not a true expression of love. When we treat our spouses and other people as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. Manipulation by guilt, if you loved me, you would do this for me, or coercion by fear, you will do this or you will be sorry, are not the language of love.

Malachi 3:16Then those who feared and loved the Lord spoke often of him to each other. And he had a Book Of Remembrance drawn up in which he recorded the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him. (The Living Bible)

This Mother’s Day, our prayer is that our family will remember the love that has been passed down because I cannot sit with my dad in his big soft chair with his arms around me any more. I cannot have my mother call me for the sixth time that day and then tell me that she just wanted to hear my voice. We cannot hear Bobby’s grandmother’s laugh because someone took a tumble and landed on their back side.

Luke 15: 17-24, V-17 – When he, they, came to his, their, senses… V-20 – So he, they, got up and went to his, their, father (and mother). “But while he, they, was still a long way off, his, their, father, (and mother) saw him, them, and was filled with compassion for him, them; he, they, ran to his, their, son, sons, threw his, their, arms around him, them, and kissed him, them. V-21 – “The son, sons, said to him, them, “Father, (and Mother), I, we, have sinned against heaven and against you. I am, we are, no longer worthy to be called your son, sons. V-22, 24 – “But the father said….For this son, sons, of mine, ours, was dead and is alive again; he, they, was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.

God’s and parent’s love is constant and patient and welcoming. God and parents will search for their child and give all opportunities to respond, but He will not force any to come to Him, nor will parents force. However, like the father in Luke 15, God and parents waits for all to come to their senses and come home.