I had never been in a court room before yesterday. My dad was appearing in court with hopes to be released from the state hospital he is in. I love my dad, and want nothing more than for him to be well, to rejoin society, and to build a relationship with him outside the walls of a state hospital, but he is not well, and what is best for him is hospitalization.
I sat in court for a little over an hour waiting for my dad to be called. As I waited, one after another, men and women, wearing striped jumpers with the word "Inmate" across their backs, and bound by chains would enter. Each one had a face that showed a hurt that went deeper than any crime they could ever commit. My heart broke. That is someones father, mother, son, brother, daughter, or sister. I thought of how there was a moment each one was held, and someone dreamed of a bright future for them, not of this. And one by one they filed in, and out. The room was hopeless, there was no rescue.
I recalled the words we had sung in church on Easter-
"My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God my Savior
Has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy reigns
Amazing grace. "
My dad filed in- striped jumper, "Inmate" on his back, bound by chains. My brother-in-law Steve sat beside me (he had never met him), "that's my dad," I said, then held back the tears.
I hold him in my heart, and think of a man who taught me to throw a frisbee, bought me my first car (a plastic yellow convertible with peddles), and I think of the day he got me a popsicle every time the ice cream truck passed by... that's my dad.
Praise God that He is rescue. I look forward to the day when we are finally, completely free, when His mercy reigns in our lives, and we live in the fullness of His love better than life.