To Read on the Journey

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mercy Reigns

I had never been in a court room before yesterday. My dad was appearing in court with hopes to be released from the state hospital he is in. I love my dad, and want nothing more than for him to be well, to rejoin society, and to build a relationship with him outside the walls of a state hospital, but he is not well, and what is best for him is hospitalization.

I sat in court for a little over an hour waiting for my dad to be called. As I waited, one after another, men and women, wearing striped jumpers with the word "Inmate" across their backs, and bound by chains would enter. Each one had a face that showed a hurt that went deeper than any crime they could ever commit. My heart broke. That is someones father, mother, son, brother, daughter, or sister. I thought of how there was a moment each one was held, and someone dreamed of a bright future for them, not of this. And one by one they filed in, and out. The room was hopeless, there was no rescue.
I recalled the words we had sung in church on Easter-
"My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God my Savior
Has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy reigns
Unending love
Amazing grace. "

My dad filed in- striped jumper, "Inmate" on his back, bound by chains. My brother-in-law Steve sat beside me (he had never met him), "that's my dad," I said, then held back the tears.
I hold him in my heart, and think of a man who taught me to throw a frisbee, bought me my first car (a plastic yellow convertible with peddles), and I think of the day he got me a popsicle every time the ice cream truck passed by... that's my dad.

Praise God that He is rescue. I look forward to the day when we are finally, completely free, when His mercy reigns in our lives, and we live in the fullness of His love better than life.


Sarah Markley said...

what a sweet, vulnerable post. You are so tender and I love watching as your life unfolds. He is a good God with our best interests in the forefront of His mind. =)

Alana said...

I feel like I was right there with you as I read that. I'm glad you had someone with you, it must have been an incredibly tough day. Praise God for His mercy.

BethAnne said...

That IS tough! I am glad that you have God to lean on. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had no hope? Thankfully, god is faithful and He cares about your hurts and concerns - He also cares about your dad.

Jennifer Partin said...


What a testimony of love. Both, yours for your father and of God's towards the 2 of you.

We all were prisoners of sin until He set us free.

Mercy is a precious gift indeed. God is good.

Earen said...

What a vulnerable post. Thank you for sharing such a tender part of your life with us and for seeing the Lord through it all. He is good...all the time. His mercy endures for ever & ever.

Kristen said...

Thanks for opening your heart and sharing Denise. What a tough situation! Thankfully you have the Lord to help you through. I LOVE that song - those words ring so true for all of us.

Linda Z said...

Oh, that must have been such a difficult day. I just just finished a book, and thought of you, since you like Donald Miller. Have you ever read To Own a Dragon. I thought it was such a neat, redeeming story of the work God did in Donald's life, because his dad had not been there for him.

Lisa Leonard said...

That's intense. I am so thankful we have a savior. xoxo