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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Eyes of Angels and The Face of My Father

“See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

The house is very quiet this evening. I can hear the stream across from our front porch flowing hard against its banks, draining the water from the surrounding hillsides saturated by the violence of yesterday’s storm. But the sky is clear tonight and the woods are alive with the sounds of late spring. There is a certain hope in the fragrance of the air.

I have time to think about all that has happened over the past few years, months and days. Since Jake was born I have not had this kind of freedom to simply sit and contemplate without agenda or interruption.

As we settle into our son’s absence, there are bitter-sweet blessings to behold. To lay in bed on a Saturday morning, to sit on the porch swing with my wife, to go fishing with my sons, have a tea party with my daughter, or go out to a restaurant with the entire family used to be a rare jewel of exceptional grace. Now it is strangely normal. I can see how the average family could eventually take these moments for granted. I hope we never do.

But the sweet blessings of peace, tranquility and quality time also have a bitter side. Our family is incomplete. Our son and brother is missing. There is an empty chair at the dinner table. The house is very quiet—and I have time to think.

Sometimes, in the stillness of it all, anxiety sneaks in and strangles my peace. "Where is my son? Who is caring for him tonight? Is he scared? Is he hungry? Does he feel abandoned or alone? Does he miss his family? Is there something he needs to tell us that only we can understand? What if someone abuses or neglects him…we would never know!"

Anxiety is almost always followed by pride, “No one can care for my son like me. No one will love him like me. When Jake was here with us, at least I knew his basic needs were being met. I do not even know the names of the people caring for him tonight.”

Pride leads to guilt; guilt leads to depression; depression leads to desperation. And desperation always finds me groping for God’s promises. It was in this desperation that I came across Matthew 18:10 and the words of Jesus tonight.

“See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

I do not believe Jake has a guardian angel assigned to his disability to protect him from harm. I do believe, however, that he has a guardian Father who sits on His throne in heaven surrounded by an army of angels intently watching the face of their Commander and Chief.

And with one nod of the Almighty’s head, a legion of angels could be dispatched to preserve and protect my son. Night and day they wait and watch the Father’s face as His eyes watch over Jake.


Our house has always been like a fortress, locked down with alarm systems and dead bolts keeping Jake from escaping into an outside world where danger lurks and disaster waits. But locks and alarms are a false sense of security from unpredictable circumstances and sovereign providence.

When Jake was three years old he nearly drowned in a creek outside our home. The Father nodded and the angels were dispatched. My wife found him face down in the water, lips blue and skin cold. She administered CPR until he began breathing again.

When Jake was five he wandered out into traffic on a busy street. The Father nodded and the angels were dispatched. The speeding car screeched to a halt just inches from my son.

A couple years ago, when Jake escaped the house and wondered deep into our neighborhood at the vulnerability of traffic, strangers and vicious dogs—the Father nodded, the angels were dispatched and Jake was brought home.

Only days after Jake moved to the center and school, another mentally disabled resident took a pillow and put in over Jakes face as he slept. The Father nodded, the angels were dispatched, and the care worker decided to check the rooms of the sleeping residents. He walked in as the other child was trying to smother Jake to death, “because he was being too loud.” The other child was removed from the building and Jake never even knew what happened.

Will God always protect my son from danger and harm? No, because it is always dangerous to be His child. And sometimes pain, suffering and even death are ways that God is most glorified in our lives.

But God will forever be present, care for and love my Jake with a Father’s compassion that outshines my best abilities and most hopeful intentions as an earthly father—a compassion that is always diligent, always attentive and always caring for his most intimate needs.

And so as I sit and listen to the creek flowing hard against its banks tonight, I have time to think. It is a bitter-sweet time. I miss my son. But I am reminded that God is on His throne at this very moment. He has His eyes on my boy, and an army of angels have their eyes on the face of my Father.

Jake is in good hands.

17 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful! Thank you. I will pray for this peace to continue. That our Father will keep reminding you of his provision for Jake, and for the rest of your family.

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  2. Stunningly beautiful and so, so soothing. It takes much to soothe me these days, so bless you.

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  3. What an uplifting and inspiring message here. I can relate very well to this with my own son. God's blessing to you. Lloyd

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  4. Amen. May God bless you as you entrust yourself and all your family members to Him. He is fully worthy!

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  5. Thank you. I needed to read this on a hard and tearful day.

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  6. Wow! Another great post. I am glad that you shared that verse. I have to dig into that also for comfort and looking to the father that commands angels!!! Both my daughters were sick today. I asked my wife what she thought made them sick and she said, "This is our Ana, she will always be like this." It is quite another matter to know that God will set His angels charge over us though. Great word brother! I look forward to whatever you post next.

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  7. Greg, as I am reading now, I am glad that you have the right mindset. You are learning that your pride has to subside, and let the grace of our Father magnify in your heart. It is unsurprising that you believe that no one can take care of Jake as much as you do. You have cared for him since he was born. Quite oppositely, I would find it a complete shock if you thought that they could take care of him much better than you do. We are just human. We have a sinful nature of gratifying ourselves whenever opportunity arises. I have the same problem too due to my competitive nature.

    But, you know, many times in our life good things have to go in order that the best things from our Father can come to our life. You have done an excellent work as the father of Jake, and hence you think that you know best about Jake. But this attitude has to go so that your faith and trust that our gracious God is taking care of him can increase in your heart. We all have to learn this. We all have to learn to let our pride go and let His promise sink to the bottom of our heart. I am glad that you have the right attitude that this is a learning process. Just keep praying and never give up believing. I am sure that this experience will turn out to be a blessing even though you may not see it now. Remember, He promises that all things work together for good for us (Romans 8:28). He also promises us that "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. (Jer. 29:11)". "In your latter end", get that? Often it may become difficult for us to believe that the situations we are facing are ordained to pass because He has thoughts of peace for us. But His promise is always true. Let us pray and learn to trust in Him together.

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  8. Thank you. Those are comforting words to your readers as well.

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  9. Greg, old friend, how we've missed your family! I was so excited when Darrell told me he found your blog. Now, could you just do me a favor and post every day? ;)

    I'm blaming you for my tiredness today. I had to stay up and read every single post on both of your blogs. :) Seriously, your blog is full of such sweet truths that are a true blessing to those of us reading.

    Keep it up....and write a book. This needs to be on bookshelves everywhere!

    Kathy

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  10. Wow, this was a powerful word of encouragement! Your writings definitely touch the heart at a deep level! Thank you for allowing yourself to be used by the Father to bless others in their journey!

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  11. Thanks, Greg! You are a blessing to so many of us out here who get to share in your trials and travails. Amen and amen.

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  12. Dear Mr. Lucas,

    I must tell you that your words have given me much needed encouragement. I am also a mother of a disabled child and after reading all of your blog posts, I can truly say..."Thank you!".

    It was like you were describing our lives here with her. It is not easy to let go...We, as a family, will be making this decision soon. But I know, that with Our Father's help we will be allright!

    May Our Lord continue to give you the words and the stamina to finish this book. It needs to be written and it needs to be shared with everyone.

    I am glad to have found your blog today - The Lord is so merciful!

    In His Perfect Peace,

    Maria

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  13. How often have I worried and been put to shame by how perfectly God turns everything to our benefit. Letting our daughter move on has been another one of those nagging worries. We can be so thankful that even as the Father looks after the lillies of the field, and the sparrows, He will even more look after one of His own! Thank you for your beautiful blog!

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  14. Hi there, we started reading your blog about a month ago. We have a 12 year old son who has some special needs. He decided to go to school by him self. This involves crossing a busy highway. When I saw him he was on the other side. I just prayed that he would stay there until I got there but NO! He saw me and crossed back with a big smile on his face. When I brought him to school I said to the aide, "Did you see the angels in town this morning?" She looked at me rather strangely and stuttered, "Nnnooo". I said, "Me either, but they were here!!" How God has protected this child numerous times is just amazing! We are humbled by His mercy and grace.

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  15. I count it a privilege indeed to read your story. Beautiful written...and I'm feeling these emotions right a long with you. We've had to let a child go as well, and it was so bittersweet...You are so right about not taking this time for granted that you now enjoy..God is good..Blessings to you.

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