Monday, December 12, 2016

onesiphorus

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain; when he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me . . .
2 Timothy 1:16-17

She was talking about her teenager, who just seemed to have lost the way.  Nothing major, no drugs or other addictions, not troubles with the authorities.  But breaking the curfew, ignoring advice, driving recklessly, that sort of thing.  What are you going to do, a friend asked.  Well, she said, my philosophy is to let folks make their own mistakes, but be there to help them pick up the pieces.  If they lose their way, I'll help them find the road back.

We all need an Onesiphorus in our lives.

We all make mistakes, and wish there were folks who could help us white them out.

We all do stupid things, and wonder if we can find the someone who is smarter than us and will share their knowledge.

We all lose our way and far too often, there is no one willing to come find us and help us get back on the path.

Another minister once told me the story about a foolish stunt he and some friends pulled in high school.  Nothing dangerous, nothing really law-breaking.  Just the sort of thing that teenage boys do at that age.  Living in a small village, where everyone knew everybody else, pretty soon the sheriff showed up at the diner to escort the boys to his offices. 

When they got there, Gene was allowed to call home.

"Dad," he began, and stopped, not sure what to say.
"Where are you, son?"
"Dad, I have been pretty foolish, and . . ."
"Son, where are you?"
"Dad, I am so, so sorry.  I don't know what got into me . . ."
"Son, you don't understand.  I don't care what you've done. Where are you?  I am coming to get you and bring you home."

This is the season where God simply says to us, "I am coming to bring you home."

(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman

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