In which I need to choose…and move…or not

by Craig on November 9, 2011


Should I even try?

I’ve written of the dream
now for the person behind the dream.

I’ve shared the gospel with him. Once.

But remember how careful and intentional and full of heart I was with my mom as she approached death. How desperate I was for her to know.

Not like that.

And there’s not a person I know who could benefit, here and now, more, by knowing Jesus.

He’s not getting younger, and I know – I know – he can feel his mortality.

Here’s a man who’s done so much damage…
torn apart his family…
heaped a cavalcade of sadness on my mom.

I forgave him long ago.
But it’s hard to be in the same room.
I’ve never told anyone it’s because of the destruction he’s wrought.
I’ve never told him it was because of the beatings…
when I was 9, and 8, and 7, and 6 and 5…
and the fear he instilled in the rest of my growing up.

He nearly destroyed my sister – whom I love beyond measure.

A room inhabited by all of that can be…



and stifling…

and hard to be in.

So I find reasons week after week to not visit.
Because every moment in that house…with him…I can’t describe it.

He’s never taken any blame, never apologized…
I’ve never asked him to…

maybe I should.

And if he had a relationship with Our Lord…
all sorts of healing would take place…
for him…for my sister…for my brothers…
and maybe me.

And it could be a moot point now because he’s said if I don’t visit him more often – that’s not what he wants. Let me translate that for you. It means he’ll just. pretend. I don’t. exist. It’s been three months since I contacted him. Since he doesn’t think contacting his children is his responsibility, that means there’s been no contact.

If I call him now, and tell him I’m coming over, he’ll do what he’s done before. He’ll spring a trap. He’ll invite me over, and make me comfortable – and then he’ll pounce. He’ll scream and yell and be all sorts of hateful.

I have been there for him. I have done it because it was love to do so – love for God – and respect for His commandment to honor a father. But not for any feelings of love. He destroyed any chance for those.


I can’t share the gospel unless I speak to him.
I’d do it like I did with my mom.
Not loving him like my mom – but loving him with God’s love.
And I’d ask all the questions and listen deeply and give him the letter…
just. like. her.

This Sunday I could try to begin those visits.

The questions:

Should I? Or maybe God wants this door shut.

If I do go I’ll need your prayers…
He’ll have to not attack.
His heart will need softening before I get there…
He’ll have to not shut the door before it’s opened…or worse, spring that trap.

And then of course there’s creating a desire for me to put myself in the line of fire.

And he is the man of the dream
so there will be forces opposing any effort of God to reach him…
I’ll need prayer against that darkness too.


I trust you…

what do you think?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria Jenkins November 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

So many thoughts!! I’ve got to grab a hold of the thread; the thought that flows continuously through all these swirling thoughts.
OK. In my opinion…
This is a burden on your heart, obviously a strong one, therefore; you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. And trust God for His faithfulness whether you see the fruit or not. Remember…His Word will not return void.
Go and plant and water and let God do His thing.
Your name is on my prayer list. I’m looking forward to what God will do.
p.s. prayer and fasting because it sounds like you are up against demons.
Love you Craig!! First prayer prayed.


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:03 am

yesterday was a blech day – the sleep thing – so I apologize for being so late in responding to your comment. Anyway – we’ll see if God does anything at all – I actually have to get there – and not have my father be – well – you know. And getting there won’t be easy – because I really, really don’t want to be there. I guess I’ll need prayer for that. Thank you for praying – I’m suspecting next week will be the week – and not this one – because I don’t feel any big swell of umph inside. We’ll see. God bless you, Victoria!


Debbie November 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Praying and fasting too . .. and I keep finding out why. Because of things like this that we need to be doing that for. God bless you, Craig, and whatever He has you do.


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

Deb – thank you for praying – I really heart that – thank you. And thank you for being here – for always being here. God bless and keep you my friend!


Martha Orlando November 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I believe God is giving you an intensely strong call to do this. I will be praying daily for a softened heart in your father.
It is good you are doing this out of God’s love. He will stand with you . . .

Blessings, my friend!


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

Martha, the call is intense – but so is the strong, strong desire not even to visit him. I’ll try to go Sunday – I suspect the desire will overwhelm the call – we’ll see. You may have to keep praying – I appreciate the praying – blessings to you to my friend!


Dawn November 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Dear Craig,

I don’t think you will be able to go at this like you did with your mother. This is a whole different person with all different emotions (maybe none at all, maybe just duty) attached to this “doing” and you have much to cut through to just get to a level of approach. I wonder…could you begin with a note (in the mail) or with a favorite fall food left on his porch or some such thing? Also, could you meet outside his home, like at a local coffee shop or mall or some such thing? Could you put a time limit on it so he knew there were boundaries–like, I’d like to drop something off for you, I’ll be about 5 minutes. I just want to touch base and I found this magazine or article or something that I thought you’d really enjoy.

Ok, those are my thoughts. I wrote that like Cora would write a poem. It just rolled out of my thought into my fingertips and onto the computer screen, AND not edited, which is almost unheard of for me. Perhaps this is a “tHe” comment…

This is deep and dark and foreboding, expect nothing, watch everything, trust your gut,
I will pray the Holy Spirit’s fullness for supernatural power,
Give me a time if you know,


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

after he abandoned my sister – and before she got married – knowing that getting married without him there would truly shut the door for good – I convinced her – and helped her – to write a letter – which I then hand-delivered. He refused to read it. The letter thing won’t work – he’s got a funny set of rules. And that’s a good idea – if he does something other than end the relationship – I bet I could get him to meet for a meal. And a “tHE” comment – funny! And your last line – – dark – foreboding – expect nothing – watch everything – MEH! . God bless you – and thank you Dawn.


Christina November 10, 2011 at 6:13 am

Wow. Tough questions. Sometimes confronting the person who has hurt us most and then sharing the gospel can free us. But it can also make things worse. Since you’ve been thinking about it, perhaps God is prompting you. God is greater than anything someone may throw at us. Praying for His grace to surround you and that hearts would be prepared. Thanks for your honesty in this struggle!


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

Christina, the thing is, the way his life is, I don’t think he’ll run into anyone else who will be able to do it before time runs out. He doesn’t travel in those circles – and although God can cut through anything – we have to be willing. So there’s that. And as I’ve said to the others – I’m not sure if I’ll have it in me to visit this Sunday – I may need more prayer – thank you for prayer – he really does need to know Jesus – and I really don’t want to even see him – yet I might be the only one who can break through – it’s a mixed up set of circumstances. MEH

Anyway – God bless and keep you Christina – and thank you.


Felecia November 10, 2011 at 9:34 am

God says ‘honor your father and mother’ … not ‘allow yourself to be run roughshod over by them’ … him. I’m of the opinion that when the beatings began he ceased being allowed to carry the Dad card. You will do what the Holy Spirit will have you do. But it won’t be like your Mom and you may never know any fruit … until later. Which ever the case, I will pray for you and your family because I want you armed and protected. I just don’t want to see you have to bear this hurt any longer.
In His Peace,


Craig November 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

Felicia – I thank you for sharing your opinion on when he ceased being allowed to carry the dad card. I know I’ve always had a technicality to hang my hat on – the fact that he wasn’t my birth father – and never loved me like a father should love – but I think that’s just excuses. But I do get your point – I do get it – and I thank you for sharing. And the hurt of the past – I’ve let that go – the consequences of the past – they linger for all of us – but I’ve forgiven – and if he changed – if he weren’t as he is – if he knew Jesus – I think a lot of healing – for a lot of people would take place. A little jumbled up here. Thank you for praying. God bless you. Felicia.


A. November 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

Craig, I will be praying for you to hear the wisdom you need to hear about this matter as you go along. Sometimes we only see a few inches ahead of us, on the path. I know you have a good ‘see-er’, and I will be praying for the heart of that man, and for you. And I agree that Dawn’s last line was wisdom concentrate.


linda January 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm

I forgave. Freely. Though he never asked me too. My dad never owned his sin against me. He never took responsibility for the abuse.
I forgave. But I was never able to establish a compassionate relationship with him. I honored him according to scripture. I loved his as much as I could. But, I never looked forward to spending time with him.
He died last week.
I’m working though it.
It’s all so strange. There is no “one size fits all” for healing.
That I have learned.


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