From Where She Sits
By Benjamin Stephens
Her father condemned himself regularly. Maybe there was something he could have done differently. He wasn't sure what he had done wrong, but he was certain he had blown it.
His first born was a daughter who had been very demanding. In time, it appeared nothing would satisfy his little girl. She rebelled against authority in general and had little use for the advice that might have saved her a lifetime of pain.
Her younger brother watched sadly as his sister walked a road no one wanted her to. She continued to walk even when she was certain she had lost her way.
She moved out and lived with a young couple who grew marijuana in the basement of their home and routinely enjoyed the harvest. She was nearly arrested when police broke down a door and raided the home. She exited the back door with the couple's children just before the raid took place.
Her father and mother spent long hours in prayer for their daughter, yet she angrily walked further away. She would talk to her younger brother from time to time, but it changed nothing.
She would turn to alcohol as one more means of escape. She partied with friends and routinely stayed until the bartender closed shop and sent her home for the night. She'd return the next day because to stay away only caused her to consider the mess she had made of things.
Then one night, as she dropped a friend off after a night at the bars, her life changed. It was nearly 3 AM when her son began his struggle for life within her womb--the result of rape.
On a little-used street on the wrong side of decision, she found her Damascus Road. In tears she wept for the time she had thrown away and wondered if God could ever forgive. What seemed the embodiment of evil would be used by God to draw her home. She could have made the decision to abort the painful memory, but she chose life and single parenthood instead.
A true prodigal daughter returned home and discovered the loving embrace of a family that demonstrated love beyond her greatest expectations.
The son conceived on that night recently placed his own son in the arms of his mom. She wonders how someone who blew it so badly could ever be worthy of bearing the name grandma, yet it is true.
Those poor choices made so long ago have caused much trouble for this woman. In some ways she will bear the consequences of her sins for the rest of her life, although forgiveness has been asked for and granted. When she was broken, God tenderly picked up the pieces and began repairing a damaged heart and life.
She raised that little boy, then two more. Recently she adopted a little girl whose mother could not raise her. God has given this brave woman a ministry in some remarkable places among people society has given up on. She's become an advocate of the prodigal, and she routinely helps them come to terms with the need to go home.
* * *
Broken pieces of a broken life
Shattered hopes, no field of dreams
No one's built it--no one comes
What good can disaster bring?
He's not alone on heartbreak ridge
She shakes in fear before the dawn
A father seeks elusive answers
A daughter's spirit nearly gone
A broken, painful puzzle piece
She wonders if it will ever fit
God simply reshaped the puzzle
It's beautiful from where she sits
The father stood nearby waiting
For his little girl to finally see
Coming home's the best of answers
For prodigals like her--you--me
* * *
This newly christened grandma is my sister and I was there to hear her heartbreak over so much loss and pain. I held the son of rape as a newborn, and I have watched him grow into a remarkable man, father, husband and son.
My sister and I have traveled dramatically different roads, yet God has given me a great love and respect for her. She understands the prodigal heart and that made coming home something special.
Rejoice when something lost is found.
Celebrate when what was broken is repaired.
Delight in a God who searches for the lonely and fixes the shattered.
Benjamin Stephens is a freelance writer who has had a love for writing most of his life, and feels blessed to be able to stretch his talents writing for the Lord. His elastic adaptability to subject matters makes him a real 'pressure player.' Never 'puffed up,' Ben has a real grip on his walk with the Lord. Just the kind of guy you want on your team when you are in a tight squeeze. If you would like to write to Ben, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.