You wonder. You wonder if you did something, or if you didn't. The answer is yes to both. When did the thing, the thought, the event, happen that caused his mind to veer from goodness to twisted thinking? You know that we are all sinful and impurities are there from the start. But most kids, even kids who have suffered terrible abuse, don't hurt someone else, don't destroy or take the property of others.
He lay in his bed, his sister in hers. I laid hands on both of them, not every night, but many nights. I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to keep His hand upon them, that they might grow up to live their lives for Him. That He would protect them and help them in the face of a home destroyed before their eyes.
He was the first child. Prayed for, hoped for, for 10 years, adoption took 5 years in waiting. I looked at his little face, our eyes locked, my heart would never be all mine again. He grew, shiny, blue-black hair, brown almond eyes that sparkled with impishness. He was smart and quick-witted, athletic when he wanted to be. But then, whatever it was, and I have my theories. As I said, our home destroyed, thrust into situations he abhorred but had no control over, then losing my dad, his best buddy, he donned the black of mourning and continued to wear it forever, probably always will. The sparkle was gone and in its place, a bitterness and selfish stealth that broke my heart. School was forgotten and he set out on the prodigal's path which took him to where he is now, a prison cell.
We are planning on visiting him soon, so my mind gravitates to these things. I read his letters, up, down, in-between. Hopeful, abysmal, desperate. I fear for him. I know him. Between his laziness and lack of motivation, I can see him remaining in prison for the rest of his life, if only for a place to sleep and eat.
I only know that when i've seen the tender-hearted side of him, and there is one, and he shares it with me, I believe that he can be redeemed. I know with all my heart that if he trusts the One who loves him best, he can have a life with his kids. But I also know that I cannot convince him or that would've already taken place. His salvation and redemption is his own path to follow. I cry out to the Lord for him so often, and trust that my prayers are not for nothing. I wonder though if I will live to see his salvation. I want to so much, to see him whole again, out of pain. To feel like he is worth something, he feels he's not right now.
I see him in his little yellow and green striped Carter's sleepers, laughing at his dad who's being silly, playing with little dozers in the dirt in the back yard, jeans dirty, shoes all worn from play, working for hours on a picture he's drawing, at bat in his uniform, looking so grown up. I see him giving my dying father his meds and trying to get him to drink Ensure so he wouldn't die, my heart breaking for him.
I always think of him when I hear the Mark Schulz song, He's My Son. Obviously not comparing life-threatening illness with what Josh has brought on himself, but the emotions are the same. He owns a piece of my heart and soul and I ache for him, so want him to understand.....but he doesn't. I want to shield him, to go back and not let that little boy be so wounded that it caused him to hurdle head-long into the abyss. Please Lord, please watch over him, hold him close.