I found myself at such a low point in 2005 that I turned to my father for help. Oh, not financial help just the help of a kind word, some gentle encouragement, a dose of fatherly love. I thought maybe I could persuade my dad to maybe come visit me for a week or two, let me show him what my life in Montreal looked like, the good parts of it anyway. Increasingly, the good was receding. I was receiving psychiatric help from a GP, a McGill psychiatrist, and a private therapist and yet none of it, none of the medicine they gave me, none of the medicine I gave myself, brought relief. I was as close to the end then as I ever had been, and I was hoping for little more than a hug and some kindness.
This is the letter I received back from my Dad. It’s excerpted mostly because my Dad names the names of the people I’d been dating recently to remind me how un-Christian each of them was, and how my despair is a result of me getting mixed up with heathens. I am proud I survived my dad; he seemed often to wish I died young and tragically, the better to validate his worldview. The passages highlighted in red were so highlighted in the original. I think that means that it's Jesus speaking, and obviously Jesus speaks only in colour so it makes sense to me. The e-mail was dated April 17, 2005.
"[W]hat do you want Colin?
Real purpose, hope and peace? These are found only in God.
Wednesday 13th around 6AM I prayed these words (I wrote them out)
Colin. Deliver him from the deceiver. Satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. Coin [sic] has been bought and paid for by the blood and you have no claims or grounds that will stand before God therefore I command you to leave and take all your demons with you. Father have mercy on us for we have like sheep wandered. Turn our hearts again. Being [sic] the prodigal home. You are the only wise God and the only hope we have. If you do not hear and intercede we are lost.”
I add to that as I now write the next day. Thank you Father for hearing.
I love you son and there is no qualifier there. You can’t do anything or say anything that will stop me from loving you. You are my son. I am proud of you. However, some of the things you do I don’t like and therefore you can hurt me. There is no news here. I think I am pretty much telling you what mom and I felt and how we reacted much of your life.
Here is some up front heart stuff from your old man. I think you are terribly wrong in some of your thinking. The church and some of its people may turn your stomach but as long as it is the church of Christ, His bride, then to oppose it is to oppose God and no man can do that successfully. It is somewhat like Paul and his confrontation with Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul was angry (Acts 9) that some people were embracing a new religion Christianity (something like the evangelicals of today perhaps). So he opposed them.
However, if we rightly understand God then we can trust Him even when we have to “deal” with imperfect people, a flawed church—even when confronted with enemies.
God is God. He doesn’t need our permission to be God. He doesn’t need our validation, approval or blessing. He is just God. All those who have denied that or worse opposed that have met the same fate or will in time find out to their eternal chagrin that they were wrong.
How does a father say these things to his son when he fears that he might alienate him for ever? I guess the answer is that I would rather you hated me now and were forced to deal with truth than to have some kind of mutual peace pact where I don’t talk about things I know and risk having you come to eternity unprepared. Then you would really hate me for eternity.
So Colin I tell you what you yourself know deep down inside . . . . .we have the truth.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
Let me try to marshal up some of that truth as it applies to what I now see happening in your life.
One of God’s names is Qanna. He is a jealous God. He died for you. Quite a price to pay even for “good obedient servants”. Quite another thing to die for us sinners,
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
We watched Satan try repeatedly during your life to stop you from achieving the fullness of God’s plan for you life. He couldn’t. Yet the Achilles heel is that God gave us free will. He has allowed us to choose even if we error. I believe you still know right from wrong. God has nudged you towards His will now He is shoving.
Yes or no
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
I will or I won’t
And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
God wants all of us. He doesn’t often get that I am afraid but that is what He wants.
He wants you Colin. He loves you and I believe as in the analogy of Pilgrims Progess you are the traveller who has wandered off the path, into the marsh and are in danger of getting into water deep enough to drown you.
God is calling you back. You have not been listening. You are failing. But He is not allowing these things to punish you but rather to get your attention to call you back.
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, ' plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
God is calling. How long can you resist? He always wins. Join the winning side or face the reality of the consequences.
For it is written,
"As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall GIVE PRAISE TO God."
How can God bless that which he doesn’t approve? Do you really think you can go against God and His precepts and principles and achieve anything of real value in this world? What about the next? “Will I see you there Colly?” If you are going to live like there is no God you had better be right.
I wish we were having this conversation face to face so you could see the tears and the tremble in my voice as I hurt for you.
Where do you/we go from here? The second half of John 14:6 gives us the answer . .
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
There is only one acceptable answer—turn back to Jesus.
I don’t know if you are ready to do that. But I do know that until you do, God is not pleased, He cannot bless, and you are in present and eternal danger.
Whatever happens, lets keep this dialogue open. Count on my love, my prayers, my help.