Practicing Parents

For I Remain Convinced

~ by Horace McMillon

horace puppy

Monique, Horace and Julia (my wife, son and daughter) finally wore me down. We have a new puppy, named Rose.  Rose has stepped into the void that our last dog of 14 years left behind when he passed away two years ago. Being his primary care taker, I believe it was hardest on me. I was not ready. I dragged my feet. I protested how much work new puppies are. I resisted saying that I did not want to do all the work this time. I received many promises that everyone would participate in the new dog’s care.  Well, the puppy is here. The puppy is cute. Puppy being a puppy, is a lot of work too.

I frequently remind my son, who is fourteen, of his promise to me when calling him downstairs to come and care for his pup. He indicated that he had no idea how much work they were when he asked for her. This led to a great conversation. I got to claim that sometimes, I’m not just being difficult but I sometimes know some things. I’m not sure what has given me more joy, the puppy, watching my son learn to care for the puppy or getting to say I told you so. (I even got to break out the old wisdom saying, “Be careful what you ask for; you just may get it.”)  Julia is so excited. She can’t wait to meet the puppy when she returns from boarding school.

Julia… as a part of her school’s program we exchange a letter every week and share a phone call every other week. She’s been there two and a half months now. She is doing well. She is putting the work in on herself. The real test will be when she returns home. I miss her, love her, hope for the best and cheer for the best when it comes to her. If the relationship God has to us is in any way analogous to the parent child relationship, than I like Paul remained convinced we are never separated from God’s love. Paul said it this way, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So as a parent, I remain with outstretched arms working to lure my child to safer harbors where she can live life to her fullest potential. I do the best I can to put her in situations where she has the opportunity to respond positively. There is nothing she can do to cause me to stop loving her. I will never give up on her. I will never stop believing  in her. One other thing I remained convinced of… However much I feel like that about my children, I believe God feels ever more so for each of us. I’m sure God is a better parent than I am.


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