Saturday, October 20, 2012

Light for This Lost Boy? (2)

Well, by grace the story continues! As I reflected on yesterday’s blog, I feel some shame over how weak I was, though that shame is slowly fading into the background as I find some perspective on things.

I realize now several things. First, my “lost boy” was indeed strongly provoked, but what was also provoked was the orphan’s false god, which happens to look a lot like my Dad who valued image, power and success above all. He is the “corresponding” false god to my false self, who always abandons me. Judith Hougen talks about this dynamic in her book Transformed Into Fire.

The false god of my father who despises weakness and worships images of strength resonates with the god I encountered while at Seminary, which is why either trigger can be very strong. On Thursday night I felt the pain of the lost boy not in the context of the Jesus I have learned to love and trust, but the false Jesus of performance and power; it’s no wonder I felt so alone and rejected, looking to Andrew Peterson to fill the void.

As I listened again to the entire album this morning on my walk, I felt reconnected to my lost boy in the presence of the true Jesus of mercy, truth and compassion. The false god dissipates like so much mist.

We are currently celebrating my oldest son’s 14th birthday (Samuel), and all this turmoil has cast additional light/darkness on my role as father (how can such a broken son be a father??) I am reminded here of Henri Nouwen’s wonderful book, The Return of the Prodigal Son which describes the journey of the lost boy not just resulting in being a found boy, but maturing into a good father.

Lastly, I’d like to share a song I wrote a couple months ago in direct response to Peterson’s album. It’s called “What’s a Boy To Do?” written with some help by my ragamuffin pastor/best friend, Chad Lewis. Be merciful as you read it, it’s among my first attempts at writing such things!

There was a little orphaned boy
growing up in Oregon
His daddy left him when he was 9;

His mom had to work two jobs just to make ends meet
oh, he’s left alone again
abandoned again

He looked to his older brother for some strength and hope
but he had none to give
both just trying to survive
doing everything they could to survive

Working so hard to be somebody
desperate to be loved
what’s a boy to do?
what’s a boy to do?

This boy grew up and became a man
tried to hide the little boy living deep inside
though the wound inside his chest wouldn’t go away
he hates this little boy to this day
when will it be safe to go out and play?

Working so hard to be somebody
desperate to be loved
what’s a boy to do?
what’s a boy to do?

Jesus entered the scene in 1989
though he’s been working for a long long time

The man wanted to believe that everything was fine
that the pain was washed away that day
but the little boy was still there
wounded, bloody and afraid
desperate and afraid

Working so hard to be somebody
desperate to be loved
what’s a boy to do?
what’s a boy to do?

Jesus offered a new way of seeing
all this pain, all this pain
can become something new
He holds the boy in his arms

He puts back together
what everyone thought was lost
The lost little boy comes home
he comes home and hears the amazing words

Don’t have to work to be somebody
you are desperately loved
you are my boy
you are my child

Don’t have to work to be somebody
I give you my name
and you are loved
so desperately loved

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