The father and son never could get along. The boy was constantly in trouble and the father was harsh in his attempts to correct him.
F: What have you done this time?
S: What difference does it make? You always take the other side no matter what I say.
F: If you weren't such a trouble maker, I might be able to trust you.
S: If you would trust me a little you might see that some of the "trouble" as you call it has another side to the story.
F: What other side? You constantly bring shame on yourself and your family wth your irresponsible ways and shady friends.
The shouting match continues, but the words are unimportant, because neither is listening. It is a replay of a hundred quarrels. The son's accusations, the father's ultimatums reach fever pitch, and the fight ends the way they all do. The son turns on his heels and walks out of the house, slamming the door behind him.
What the father does not know is that this time is different. His son does not come back in time for dinner. This is not new, it has happened a dozen times. He does not come home to sleep. This is not unique, he's done that a time or two. But the next day stretches on and the son does not come home. The mother sits down with the father during dinner.
M: What happened?
F: I don't know. He was being unreasonable as always.
M: What did you say?
F: I told him he was a troublemaker.
M: That wasn't very helpful.
F: I suppose it wasn't.
M: Where did he go?
F: He didn't say.
M: Maybe we should make some calls.
F: He'll be back.
M: Aren't you a little concerned?
F: He has friends. He'll be fine.
The father goes into his study and closes the door, the mother sits by the phone and begins calling her son's friends to see if she can find him. No one is willing to say that they have seen him. Yes, they've heard from him and he is angry. No, they don't know where he went. The mother bends her head, depressed and frustrated. She makes one more call, and this time it is right. Her son's friend puts him on the phone.
M: Son, come back home.
S: Why? So dad can berate me some more?
M: He dosn't mean it.
S: Then why does he say it so often?
M: He really loves you. I love you.
S: I really don't think I can put up with it any more.
S: No, mom. I love you, but He is too much. Good bye.
She hangs up the phone and is lost in thought. The father comes out of the study.
F: What's wrong?
M: I think I know where he is.
M: He is at that tall boy's house. The one that lives four blocks over, beyond the traffic light.
F: Is he coming home?
M: No, he is still angry with you.
F: What do you think we should do?
M: I'm going after him.
F: I'll come along.
The two leave and quickly walk a few blocks. At the traffic light in the glare of a street lamp near a coffee shop, they see him. He is standing with his back to them. The tall boy he is talking with sees them and points. He turns, looks with surprise and begins walking up the street, away from them. The mother calls out, "Wait!" He keeps walking. She rushes after him. She does not see the truck bearing down on the intersection. The father shouts, the son turns, brakes whine, but it is too late.
The tall boy at the corner pulls out a phone and begins frantically punching in 911. The son turns and rushes back to the street. The father is immediately at her side, gently holding her head in his hands. The driver comes around, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry ... I couldn't stop."
The son rushes into the street where he kneels on the other side of his mother, speaking gently to her. As he looks up he sees his father's eyes, distorted by tears. Great sadness is in his face as he sees his son across from him, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry ... I couldn't stop," he says.
The two men, kneeling in the road, realize together that they really do have something in common: a love for this woman who completely disregarded herself to bring them together.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Brent Williams on Jun 7, 2001
The Train and the Boy I would like to tell you a story about a man named John Griffith. John was the father of an 8-year-old boy during the 20’s and 30’s. John was very fortunate during those times, because he had job. John loved his son very much. He was the apple of his eye. ...read more
Contributed by Rick Stacy on Mar 8, 2002
BURIED IN THE DEEPEST SEA Several years ago Rick Stacy baptized a man in Lake Superior. It was late October and about 9:00 PM. Rick had been talking with Myron and his wife about accepting the Lord as their personal savior and sealing that decision with baptism into Jesus. Myron was ...read more
Contributed by Rick Mccarley on Apr 30, 2002
FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS... A pastor friend recently told the true story of one of his church members, an attorney, who after meditating on several scriptures, decided to cancel the debts of all his clients that had owed him money for more than 6 months. He drafted a letter explaining his decision ...read more
Peace Child PRO
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Dec 9, 2002
PEACE CHILD In 1962, the Sawi people of New Guinea still lived in relative isolation. They were head-hunting cannibals. Their culture could not be more different from that of Don and Carol Richardson, and yet this missionary couple attempted to share Christ with them. In fact, two rival Sawi ...read more
Living Thief. PRO
Contributed by Darrell Jones on Mar 1, 2003
Living Thief. A minister tells the story of a preacher who asked a man why he did not join the church..The reply was that the dying thief did not join the church and he was saved. "Well," said the minister, "if you do not belong to a church, perhaps you help by supporting missions?" "No," said ...read more