This year's theme was HOPE. Hope is a fragile thing for parents of prodigals who are living in the moment of wondering what will happen next, will they ever see their boy or girl again. Parents like this question their own salvation hope, their own convictions about God. I know because I've been there.
Thankfully we made it through a rough time and today we have great HOPE. Yesterday I was reminded of the poem I wrote four years ago after a chance meeting with a young lady who had left her home. She had her reasons. She was okay but far from God.
Today I've revised the overall entry just a little and added these top comments.
If you are a parent in that place of NO HOPE, look to the bottom of this post for some resource links to help you find help and comfort.
May 11, 2012...This past week while in the big city I took a wrong turn. Seems I always get lost in a certain part of the downtown area. I turned down the wrong street but realized it and figured I'd cut back in at the next one. Just then I saw a familiar face. Seems Someone was leading my steps, Someone timed it all just right...
Where's Your Girl?
Have you seen your girl today?
I did on the sidewalk downtown.
She smiled when she saw me,
Ran up and threw her arms around.
How have you been I asked?
Her sweet smile turned to a frown.
The sad truth was unmasked,
As she looked to the ground.
I've missed you, I said.
I saw your mother weeks before.
How have you been?
Well I don't go to church anymore.
My heart began to break,
As the girl told me why.
Seems she felt no love,
Tears welled up, I tried not to cry.
Then I felt riled up,
Who could not love such a one?
Who would not cherish her,
Want her, not let her run.
Who would teach her lies,
Like you are not good enough?
Who would throw her away,
Not insist on telling her the truth?
I kissed her, I hugged her again.
I told her - You are loved and wanted,
God loves you and wants you.
He will not turn you away, I added.
We parted with sweet words,
Then I turned and continued my way.
I thanked God for sending me -
To just the right place today.
This was sadly not the first time I've encountered a young lady with a similiar story. Twisted doctrine being spread in some of the churches in our area is promoting wrong practices which can lead many to think God is not a Being of love but of doom. Woe be to the ones who give their children millstones of wrong teaching leading them away from the comfort of a good home and church. May we all take seriously the responsibility of the task of teaching the truth. May our dear, loving Heavenly Father lead this young lady to a place where she can receive all of God's benefits for each girl who has placed her trust in Him.
Listen to your heart and STOP to talk to that one that needs a word of love today.
Resources for Parents of Prodigals:
Parents in Crisis Conference, this is a weekend conference for parents to evaluate their situation, receive counseling and hear from a renowned speaker on teen rebellion. Speaker Mark Gregston also has numerous written materials including a "first-aid" kit for parents. His organization has a boarding school program for prodigal teens.
The Envoy Group, this website offers first hand knowledge of boarding school programs and short term counseling programs for teens in crisis. All advice and suggestions are free of charge.
Hope for Hurting Parents, this website has many resources for parents and the author can put you in contact with the Worldwide Prodigal Prayer list which is hosted at a private, secure website.