Late one night, I get the call from the police station that my daughter is in the drunk tank.  I’ve warned her again and again yet here she is.  I travel downtown and bail her out, bringing her home for a warm shower, good meal and soft bed.  In the morning I warn her again about our family rules, about the dangers of drinking too much, and about the pain in store of this continues.

At church, people talk about how merciful I am, how good bad a parent I am.  But the talk turns a week later when I get the next call.  I pace the floor for an hour in my anger, yet eventually give in and bail her out again.  She promises, “Last time, Dad.”  And I tell her, “yes, it is.  For me, too.”  The talk turns “merciful” into “soft”, and “good” into “lenient”.

And so when the call comes the next week about the cocaine charge, I know you have to fall before you can be picked up again.  So I leave her there.  I allow her the freedom to choose her own path.  I let her sit in jail, living out the consequences of her choices.  It breaks my heart and I long to rescue her, but for her sake, she has to be the one to choose me, to choose my ways again.  Otherwise, she will resent my “interference” and return to her folly.

Thus saith the Lord.

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