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Friday, September 27, 2019

Redemption requires forgiveness and above all love

It matters not when redemption comes, what matters is that it comes.
When I was 11-years-old I took the blow meant for my mother. I stood up to my father. He left the next day. I couldn't change him. But, I would defend my mother no matter what the cost.
I wish children did not have to make these kinds of choices. I grew up to be the exact opposite of my father. Alcohol addiction and self-hate robbed his humanity. I was with him when the day he died. Some moments make us, others break us.
My mother asked him to see the priest. I was upset with her, cause I had come to hate this man I called my father. I was angry with her for caring about him after 15 years of going missing in action. Not a card, a phone call, not anything. I had 15 years of hate eating away at me, and I did not want to let that hate go.
I remember her saying Rev. Fitzgerald, did you see my husband yet? He said Mrs. Turner I have been with him three times today. It's an uneasy peace, and redemption for some comes late. Trust me, he has met his devils, confess his sins, made his peace, and his redemption is real.
My mother looked at me and said son promise me you won't wait until the end to make peace with yourself. She saw the hate in me. She knew it was too heavy a burden for me to carry. Then she ran after the priest. She said Father, can you talk with my son for a while. He said sure what is a good time Jess? She said right now is a good time.  I was angrier than ever. I felt like screaming. But, I could never say no to my mother. The last thing I wanted was to talk about my father.

Father Fritz said Jesse, come into the chapel with me. In that chapel, I met my devils, confess my sins, laid out that hate held far too long, and made my peace, and am stilling working on this redemption thing. Faith and love took that heavy burden off me. I left that chapel different that day.
After I left, I took the elevator up to his hospital room, and held his hand, kiss his forehead, and said the words I had wanted to say for 15 years. I love you, dad. We both began crying. I never said I forgive you because it did not need saying. Forgiveness rode that wave of father and son tears. Later that night he passed, and I held his hand. Love wins people.I have spent my life stepping up. It's not what I want, it's what I have to do. It is who I am, but I am also a loving son, a loving brother, a loving husband, a loving father, and a loving teacher. Redemption never comes easy, but it can't come without love.

Love wins,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner 

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk this morning...its  
Martin Hurkens - "You Raise me Up"

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