My dad
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 9:35PM
Living with Freaks

Seventeen years ago today, I accidentally boldly told my dad that I was a Christian.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I had begun to believe in Jesus and to live by His life the summer prior. My brother led me to the Lord. Although I admired my brother's brave decision to seek God himself rather than simply believing what he was told, I thought my brother made one crucial mistake: he told my parents about his decision!

Not me.

As silly as it sounds now, I fully planned to go from the age of 13 to the age of 18 without telling my parents that I had denounced our Hindu tradition for this man they call Jesus. There was no way I could face my parents! I did not want to pretend to still be Hindu either, but I figured there was some way I could avoid Hindu practices while also not letting my parents know about this whole Jesus thing.

And it worked pretty well for six months or so. Maybe that's why God arranged things the way He did.

It was March 21st, and out of nowhere I was doing pretty poorly. I felt spiritually attacked, though I probably would not have described it that way then. I started crying, but I didn't know why. It got so bad that I literally curled up in the corner of my bedroom and sobbed, asking God to show me what in the world was wrong with me.

Unexpectedly and very clearly, I got the overwhelming sense that God was telling me to go right then and there and tell my mom that I was a Christian (my dad was out of town at the time). For reasons I still cannot explain, I walked into my mom's bedroom and told her.

It didn't go well.

I adore my mom, and it crushed me to hurt her so badly. I expected yelling and screaming, but instead she asked me to get out of her room. I later snuck back to find her looking through old photo albums (I wish I had not spied on her, that just made it worse).

The next day (March 22nd), my mom would not speak to me. The only thing she said all day was, "Do not tell your dad until he gets home this weekend, or else he'll have a heart attack."

I happily agreed.

The next day (March 23rd), my mom came into my room to tell me that my dad was on the phone and that he wanted to talk to me. I was nervous, to say the least, but I took some comfort in knowing that my mom had not told him anything. It turns out, my dad was calling to congratulate me on an award I received for a poem I wrote at school (ironically, the poem was about the Lord). I was ready to receive my praises and get off the phone when my dad said something that was very uncharacteristic for him:

"God must be really blessing you."

What?! Why is he bringing up God? This can't be a coincidence, can it? Does he know? Did my mom tell him after telling me not to tell him?

"Uh, yeah, I guess so," I stumbled.

"And I hope you know each one."

Okay, that's it, he knows! My mom told him! Why would she do that? She just wanted to trap me! And now my dad is trying to corner me. Well, I can give him a taste of his own medicine...

"Yeah, I do," I said boldly. "The question is do you know which one?"

"Which one is that?" My dad asked.

"Jesus Christ." I replied.


It took about 10 seconds of silence before it dawned on me that maybe he didn't know after all.

The rest of the conversation did not go well, as you might imagine. My mom was livid. She had asked me to do one thing, and I go and make her even more upset!

To this day, I have no idea what compelled my dad to bring up God in our conversation (okay, maybe I do know). It's still a crazy story. Since then, my dad and I have certainly had our ups and downs, but I think that through the years he has softened a lot to God. I also think that the freaks I live with have had a lot to do with that. He knows I live in true community, and he likes these people.

Currently, my dad is in rehab after recovering from heart surgery. He is in bad shape and may be near the end of his life. Please pray for him. I want him to know that he has a Father, too.


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