[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y wife and I saw the movie The Blind Side last night–finally. We loved it. In case you haven’t seen it, I can sum it up by saying it’s a story of redemption in which a wealthy family chooses to love a young black man from the poor side of town and winds up making him one of their own.
I was touched by the film. It hit close to home.
More than two decades ago, in what seems another lifetime, the mother of my children had an affair and wound up pregnant (just so you know, I was not at liberty to discuss this story until a few years ago when, to her credit, she released me to do so in hopes it might help somebody else). As one who did not believe in abortion, I chose to raise this “love child” as my own.
Desperately needing to talk to someone, I contacted a man by phone–a Catholic priest I’d never met and whose name I don’t remember. He listened intently as I described the situation to him. I can’t recall everything he said, but God gave him the perfect words to say: “You know, Joseph raised a baby that wasn’t his.”
I chose to love that little baby.
I chose to love her every bit as much as I loved her three siblings.
I chose to make her my own.
The day finally came when her mother called me, crying, announcing to her daughter–16 years later– that I was not her birth father. It was an awesome moment of redemption as I gathered the four children around me and said to them, “It really doesn’t matter what human man brings us into the world. What really matters is that we all come from the same Father—God–and that we must get to know Him. That’s what’s most important to me.”
Shortly thereafter, reconciliation came between her and her birth father. I’ve met him–and his wife–the day I officiated my daughter’s wedding, at her graduation, at her kids’ birthday parties (my grandchildren). I’ve prayed for both the father and his wife and have forgiven him.
My daughter knows she is loved. She is a wonderful person, and I cannot imagine life without her. Her husband has a son from a previous marriage. He’s 6, and I have chosen to love him and be his “Grandpa Mike.” I’m getting to know him and he’s a real joy.
What about you? Who has hurt you? Who has been driving you nuts for years that you may have disowned, alienated, brushed off or written off as hopeless? When my oldest son was behind bars, I had to choose to love him, even when my flesh was repulsed by the way he “disgraced our family name.”
Thank God Jesus didn’t blow me off while He was being crucified.
Children, spouses, ex-spouses, employers, people who are “different” from us…all this Christian dissension has got to stop! Where’s the love, people?
God been so good to us, especially in America. He has even allowed us the freedom to choose who we will love and who we will hate. Like the lady in The Blind Side (played by Sandra Bullock), we are given a daily opportunity to show someone else the love of Christ that is resident within us.
By the way, the “blind side” is a football reference to the responsibility of an offensive lineman to defend his quarterback’s blind side from their opponents whenever he attempts a pass. Similarly, each of us must make that same choice to defend the blind side of others whom our mutual enemy, the devil, is bent on destroying.
What are we doing with that opportunity? Are we turning a blind eye or protecting their blind side?
Michael Tummillo is an ordained minister, a Certified Workplace Chaplain, and a meber of NIBIC (National Institute of Business and Industry Chaplains). He lives in Stephenville with his wife.