When a father cries
By Sally Herman
I’m going to tell you a story that was told to me by a wise, loving Father. It was told to me a few short weeks ago but sheds a different light on things that I know to be true.
There was a wise loving Father who had many children that he loved with his whole heart. He provided for all of their needs, food, clothing, shelter and discipline.
Most loved him back, being grateful and obedient, others did at times and still others were rebellious. However he still loved them and saw to all their needs regardless of their attitudes or lack of respect.
As in all good homes, there were rules to follow in order for the household to run smoothly and for everyone’s benefit. There were times of great fun and laughter, dancing and singing, and showing appreciation to their father for all of his love and compassion. There were also times that were difficult, times of trouble, and times when strong discipline was necessary — but love never faltered.
As these children grew older, the father decided to adopt some other children who were quite different from his natural children. Children who came from different parts of the land, who spoke different languages, whose hair and skin color were not only different from the natural children but from each other.
They were all grateful in the beginning when the father brought them home. They were grateful for food, shelter and, most of all, love. They were especially grateful because they knew that if the father had not adopted them they would have perished.
At first there was much rejoicing by both sets of children as they all tried very hard to become one family. Unfortunately, that did not last very long.
Jealousy and envy crept into the hearts of some of them; the natural born wanted the adopted children to be more like them: dressing the same, speaking the same, and fitting in better.
The adopted children resented the natural ones and wanted their possessions for their own because of the jealousy in their hearts they began grumbling and complaining. It wasn’t long before they stopped loving each other, and some wanted to go their own way.
All of this made the father very sad, but he knew it would be wrong to force them to get along and to love each other’s differences. Eventually both natural and adopted children went their own way with much distrust and anger in their hearts.
They quickly forgot how much they loved each other at first, how much the adopted children loved learning the ways of the natural children, and how to have a grateful heart to their father and to each other.
Many years went by with very little contact between the two groups. The adopted children forgot the ways of the family and started acting more like the people in the world who had wanted to kill them before the adoption. They took on their ways and manners and shed the ways of the family.
The natural children began thinking of themselves as well rid of the newcomers since they were in the family first.
Eventually, after much heartache and tragedy the two groups began coming together again. They recognized their mutual love for the father who had never given up on them and their love for each other in the beginning.
Slowly, very slowly, some of them came together again, united in love for each other but most of all for the father who had never stopped loving or caring for any of them. They could never have accomplished this without the undying and unconditional love of their father.
Some of the natural children began seeing the father in a new light. They had a better understanding of who he was and of his plan for them from the beginning.
Some of the adopted children realized how much they had lost when they left their home and lost the ways that were taught to them in the beginning. Leaving the worldly ways behind moved them closer to their father’s will for their lives.
Sadly not all on either side did the same. They still fought and still wanted what each other had and believed.
They were the only ones their father loved and never realized that they were breaking his heart. His intention all along was to make one new family out of the two groups, each bringing their uniqueness to the new family.
The story is not over. The ending for some has not been written, yet. I believe you will have no problem figuring out this modern day parable, but will you see yourself in it?
Gary and Sally are retired and live in Lafayette. They attended Beth Messiah made up of Messianic Jews and Gentiles for about 10 years. They have gone to Israel 11 times and have organized and led groups.