In which there is the most important letter (pt 3)

by Craig on October 25, 2011


An off the rack gospel wasn’t good enough…
this was my mom…
my mom was dying…
I asked questions to see what she believed...
and wrote this letter specifically for her…
for her doubts, and her heart.

This is part three (part two is here, and part one is here)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

So why, if God is so loving and caring, is the world in such a mess?

Why, even though you loved me, was my room always a mess?

God created us as children…
frogs are just creations.

He made us in his own image…
to have an absolutely full life…
in constant touch with him.

And He didn’t make robots – just kids…
kids who don’t wipe the counters…
kids who use two towels for one shower…
kids who argue and fight…
and rebel…
go their own way.

And I’m sorry Mom.

I never realized how much it hurt you to not listen.

You understand like I never can how God loved us…and had to let us go…let us choose…
and how by not choosing right there’s distance and separation created.
You’ve seen haven’t you?
You know it better than me.

I know how much you love me, love us…
and I know how much you want better for us…
and I know that you’re only almost perfect…
and I know you know that…
and so if we choose a different path than yours, it might be a good one…
but if you were perfect…
then your path would be the only one…
your word would literally be Law. No?
And not one of your children could ever measure up.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

Remember all those times you replaced my ring when I was a kid.
You gave. I lost it. You replaced it. I lost that.
Until the last one you gave me…

I still have that one Mom.

That’s Grace.

And you know the stress that Gina allows to overtake her sometimes…
and you realize that she just has to go through it herself and learn…
even if it hurts you to stand by and watch.

But still you made it clear that there was a price to pay for disobedience…

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

you know things about God that this Seminary student hasn’t got a chance of understanding.

And God?

He has to allow us to learn the hard way (even if it hurts him to watch us)…
and at the same, make it clear that there is a price to be paid for disobedience.

And Mom, somebody had to pay that price…

This letter…

all about putting things in the context of “Mom”…

speaking her language – and not so much mine…

I have forgotten how important this is…

because a Gospel heard in a foreign language can’t be understood…

and if not understood…

can never be accepted…

a little more tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora October 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

Craig, I’ve been so moved by this whole exchange between you and your Mom. My reasons for these deepest of thoughts? I’m not sure. I’m not a Mom, I’m not married, and I don’t have children. But I was one once, and lost her. Also, during the dark time of going through chemo and radiation, I was not sure I’d make it through. There were days when I thought death would feel better than what I was going through. And in the darkness of all of that, my heart was laid out bare to be examined thoroughly from every angle and depth.

You hit on something here. The language did change during that time. And even now, 3 years later, I can’t find the words that passed between me and the Lord as we examined this thing called “the life of ME!” I only know I learned Grace. Call it the language of grace, if you will.
I only know, even as I think about your Mom, you, and walking through that valley of shadows, I well up with tears, because I can feel His closeness, the whisper of His voice, and the personal presence He promises us. I never want to forget that, because I want to be sure that I can bring someone to this same place during those moments. It is in listening carefully with our hearts that we learn to speak from the heart. And it sounds to me that you have learned the art of heart talk, Craig! This has been so special!


Craig October 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Cora, I understand … I just understand. Time in the darkness can really lead to light. I think of the time of Our Lord In the desert – we only get a glimpse – a stylized version of what went on – I can’t imagine the darkness. And Cora, I’m only learning the art of heart talk – I’m only learning the art of heart. Just training wheels that’s all. And your teaching has been invaluable to me – I’m glad your language changed – I heart the way you talk. God bless you Cora – and thank you.


Dawn October 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Talking so the other can understand. This was the very essence of John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I think his teaching saved my first son’s marriage. When my son learned his wife’s language, he really began to love her. I think women (especially those who enter men’s worlds for most of their waking hours) learn to speak male because they have to, to survive. Most men never really have to learn female because their livelihood doesn’t depend on it, and women, being dependent on males economically, do what they have to do (take it) so they and their children survive. To some, this may sound like a scenario out of the 1950s, but I still see it very much alive and well today as I work with a lot of young families.

There have been in-roads where women’s voices have surfaced and made some impact, but there has not been anything revolutionary. God made us different to accomplish wholeness. He did not make one sex better and one sex lesser, simply different. Until difference without rank is the norm everywhere, not just here at Deep into Scripture, we’ll all be less for it.



Craig October 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

first of all – John Gray – I remember that guy – he barely filled out a suit! But I digress – his message is ages old – and spot on. Still – would it have killed him to lift a weight or two – and use less hairspray?And of course I don’t think that way anymore – that’s just how I thought THEN – back in my judgmental days – of course I don’t judge anybody now – that’s just…just…an example of the old me – yeah – that’s right. ツ

and Dawn, your whole theory – that’s incredible – that could be a book! Maybe you should write a book – because you’re right – we pretend it’s all different – but the workplace – many workplaces are still in the 50s – they just pretend to be in the new millennium. Have I told you lately how smart you are? because you are!

That being said – I think women can speak both languages – it’s men who have the biggest problem with only speaking one. God bless you Dawn.


Cora October 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I find this incredible, too! So much wisdom mixed with so much heart. I had never thought of it before, but it is so true that women do have to know both languages just for the sake of survival in a world of men who devour those who don’t speak their language. It made me think, no wonder I can finally relax and be comfortable when I am around a man who speaks “woman” or “heart.” I’ve only known a few, but that’s it in a nutshell — THEY speak MY language and understand and care.

And I agree with Craig, Dawn. You are brilliant and have so much wisdom!


Craig October 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

thank you Cora – I don’t feel very brilliant right now – and I don’t feel very wise – I’m on something else now at Deep into Love, but next week. If I forget to finish up with the horses – remind me okay?


Martha Orlando October 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I went back to read yesterday’s post (somehow, my not-so-nimble fingers deleted it) and today’s. Craig, this letter to your mother is beyond beautiful . . .

You have opened my eyes to the absolute importance of personalizing Jesus’ message for others in a way to which they can best relate. You can’t simply tell them how much God loves them; you have to care about them enough, know how they think and feel, before effective communication can be established. You need to show God’s love; love them as He does.

Thank you for your incredible posts; you are my daily inspiration, my friend!



Craig October 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Martha, I needed reminding about it too – remember when I was doing the “elevator pitch” posts for the gospel – it was in my comment section that my thoughts got redirected to this. I think we still need the elevator pitch – but we shouldn’t use the elevator pitch for people we know – we should show them that we know them – and we should love them – and the questions are important – and so is taking the time to craft an individual letter so they can refer back to it – I realize I pretty much just said everything you said in your comment – but that’s one of the reason I heart comments so much – they make me ponder – YOU make me ponder ツ and thank you for your really kind words – they mean more than you can know. God bless you, Martha.


Debbie October 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I am learning from your mom letter . . .and I have discovered that she and others in my family don’t understand my language, what my life is all about. Now, to ask Him how to speak her / their language! You have inspired me!
And loved the comments. It’s not just in the workplaces though, is it Dawn? It’s in the home too.


Craig October 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

((heart)) that’s it just ((heart)) – and thank you – and God Bless!!


Dawn October 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Dear Debbie,

Yes, it is in the home, too. It is everywhere. But in the boundaries of the home, without having to restrain oneself for social propriety, the wolf can duly tear the lamb to pieces, and without laying a hand on her and do it all in front of her babies. With all this going on in front of them, what chance do the male babies have of growing up with respect for the female babies?

I think you understand this, Debbie, by virtue of your rhetorical question. We women do know this.



Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

and, by personal experience, I know too. Dawn – I just heart your wisdom!


Victoria Jenkins October 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

What a great example of God. I love how you met her where she was and you could have never done that had you not listened in the first place. Oh Lord You have searched me and You know me…because of that He meets us where we are.


Craig October 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

oh, listening – so hard because I’m such a talker – and if I don’t shut up and listen – I don’t learn anything new. Yeah – listening was big – still is. And we need to meet people where they are – because that’s what Our Lord did – amen!! Anyway – thank you, Victoria, and God bless and keep you.


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