“The salvation of a single soul
is more important than
all the epics and tragedies
in the world.”
— C.S. Lewis
June, 1995 … I sat in the bleachers at the high school’s graduation ceremony, watching my talented son receive his diploma, and thinking, We made it! I was surrounded by family and friends, who were aware of how treacherous the journey had been for both Jon and me. I knew that Jon had been carried through to this moment on the prayers that many had so faithfully offered up on his behalf.
But there was a part of me that questioned God. Like Job, I was in doubt about the future, and I was asking for answers. Shortly before graduation day, Jon had received confirmation that he’d been accepted into AMDA, the American Music and Drama Acadamy, headquartered in downtown New York City, for their fall semester.
God, I trusted you not to let that happen. How can he possibly manage to go to school and live in New York? By himself … with no safety net to catch him when he falls? And I had little doubt that he would.
Chuck and I had been through the audition process in L.A. with Jon for several years, so it came as no surprise when he approached us to take him to just one more tryout before his senior year ended. He explained that it was a long shot – there was “no way” he could possibly get in because auditions were taking place in cities all over the country. Hundreds of hopeful young people would be giving it their best and only a select few would be chosen. He just wanted to enjoy the experience one last time.
Since we had not allowed him to get a driver’s license (due to a trustworthiness issue), Jon had to rely on us to get him to the event, which would take place in Hollywood. So his dad and I agreed.
Jesus, we talked about this. I said I would let him audition IF you would hold him back. You know about my struggle with fibromyalgia and Chuck’s eyes are giving him trouble again. And how will we financially manage a trip to Manhattan?
The ceremony ended. Everyone in the bleachers made their way down to the football field to find and congratulate their graduate. It was a sea of humanity. I searched the crowd, and then, there he was – my baby. A divine sense of peace washed over me just then. It was without question, the answer I’d cried out for.
I heard the Spirit whisper, He’ll be okay. I have a plan.
Fast forward to October, on the rooftop of the Beacon Hotel on Broadway, where I found myself standing with my husband and our most honored son, overlooking the sparkling, jeweled skyline of New York City. The weather was unseasonably fair – just one more amazing blessing that the God of Heaven had bestowed upon the three of us.
The deed was done. Chuck had secured a loan for Jon’s fall semester at AMDA with the understanding that he was on probation until he could prove to us that he was responsible enough to handle life in a shared dorm apartment.
I stood there in silent awe. Then I spoke the obvious: “Oh Jon, I would never have had this experience without you.” I felt my six-foot son move next to me. He wrapped his arm around my shoulders, and I heard him say with a man’s voice, “I’ll be okay, Mom.”
Chuck and I made sure that Jon had everything he needed. Then we drove our rented car up the coast of New England for a few days of sightseeing. We had decided to give him time to settle in, fully expecting that he would change his mind, and we would take him home with us in the end.
But when we returned, Jon was reveling in his freedom. He had spent $300 from his newly opened bank account on a pair of rollerblades. He figured he would need “transportation” since his classes would be taking place in various buildings spaced blocks apart. We were introduced to his roommate, a seemingly pleasant young man from a very wealthy family. The two of them appeared to be getting along well, and Jon was learning his way around and through the unfathomable bustle that defines New York, New York.
The three of us said goodbye on a street corner, under a street lamp. The peace that I had experienced at graduation washed over me again, so I was able to walk away knowing that God had a plan and would watch over our son.
Chuck managed to walk away too. But he wept against his pillow, late into the night.
“Call to me and I will answer you,
and show you great and mighty things
that you do not know.”
Take up the helmet of salvation …”
A RUST REMOVER …
One of the hardest things a parent can ever experience is turning away from a child. Just imagine how difficult that must have been for our heavenly Father when His only Son hung nailed to a cross as payment for our sins. Meditate on Luke 22:41-44 and pray the prayer that Jesus prayed: “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours be done.” Amen.