|Jesus Christ is The Good Shepherd|
We arrived early to the high school in the hopes of spending a few moments with my step-daughter. We also needed to receive tickets to the event. It was warm outside, so we remained in our rental car with the air conditioning turned on. As I watched other anxious parents slowly drove into the school parking lot, I couldn't help but notice my husband's unusual calm demeanor. "Was he quiet because he was feeling calm and peaceful or could he be feeling anxious too?" I wondered. I turned to him and asked, "How are you doing?" My husband simply replied, "I'm good," and smiled. It had been years since my husband and his daughter had reunited in heart. I began to ponder God's ways. Was this graduation ceremony a divine appointment from God? Was God providing the perfect opportunity to erase those years of uncertainty between my husband and his daughter?
Suddenly, my husband's now 18 year-old beautiful daughter drove into the parking lot. I had never seen her behind the wheel of a car before. What Joy! With our youngest son trailing shortly behind him, my husband quickly jumped out of our rental car and approached his daughter. I stood back and watched as they offered each other a sweet embrace. Next, my step-daugther threw her hands out towards her little brother and drew him near. I stood off in the distance wondering what would her response be to me? Then, I walked towards her. Without hesitation, she reached out to me and wrapped her arms around my shoulders. A sincere hug! Afterwards, my step-daughter handed her father our tickets, returned to her car and quickly drove away. Much to do in getting ready still.
My husband grabbed my hand and we began to walk into the stadium. I could feel the heels of my shoes sinking in the freshly mowed grass as I walked hand in hand with my husband. A feeling of complete calmness came over me. We soon found our seats.
Our youngest child busied himself by playing with his new necktie, while I fidgeted with my camera. It didn't take long before we were sweetly greeted by my husband's mother. She invited us to sit by her, several rows back and to the left. I silently followed close behind my husband with our young son sandwiched between us. Just after we entered a new row of white plastic chairs, my husband's ex-wife offered her sincere greetings. Uncertain of what to do, I reached out and hugged my husband's ex-wife. Amazingly, she hugged me back. Then, my husband extended his hand to his children's step-father while our youngest hugged his grandmother for the first time in years. Clearly, God replaced years of anger and pain with His love!
Later, we settled into our new seats. Instantly, I began to notice how God had orchestrated the event. First, my husband pointed to two doves as they flew over our heads. Next, beams of sunlight began streaming through the clouds above. Then, my husband's mother wrapped her arm around my husband's shoulder. Without hesitation, he moved closer to her side. God had healed their wounded hearts too! After that, our youngest son moved to sit by his grandmother and they too became reacquainted. Quietly, I said a little prayer. "Thank You Lord for healing all of our hearts!"
As the hours passed, we all remained on our best behavior. At one moment, my heart filled with joy when my mother-in-law laughed at one of my silly jokes. Instantly, I was reminded of scripture. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV).