Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Whittier College circa 1999: Stauffer dormitory heard me beg for mercy like my life depended on it. Because it did.
I was caught in a little lie that turned into a massive lie. Let's just say that my attempted cover-up involved Nermin, the resident aid, John, the campus security guard, the Whittier Police Department... and my Dad. In order to cover my stupidity, I made up a tiny fib that covered my tracks. Nermin sighed relief, John left the dorm room, the police department was notified that I was okay, and well, Dad hung up the phone and that was that. Or so I thought.
Jasmine was my roommate and apparently a hot version of Elliot Stabler. She knew I was lying. She just couldn't prove it. The next day everything was exposed in our small dorm room and Jasmine was filled with righteous indignation. She was so angry with me she almost slapped me. Not because I was a liar but because I lacked the moral fiber to tell the truth. She stopped in the middle of our blue throw rug and stared at me with hot fire in her eyes. You have two options, she said. You call Dad or I call Dad. Oh sweet Moses! Oh sweet Abraham! Oh sweet baby Jesus! Please.Don't.Make.Me.Call.Dad. I could tell Nermin, John, and the entire Whittier Police Department that I was a big, fat liar, but there was NO way in this great earth that I was going to tell my father. Um, let's just say that we rumbled and tumbled in our third story room, then I chased her down the stairwell, then I busted open the pay phone door, then I pulled the pay phone from the wall (yes, the wall), then I chased her down the walkway of Whittier College yelling at her in tears to please have mercy on me and not call Dad.
She looked at me with the seriousness of a nun and said, I'm calling Dad.
I knew I had to beat her to the punch so I hopped in my black Pontiac and sped down Washington Boulevard until I reached his office. I ran past the secretary, the office technician, the custodian, and into his office. My face was tear stained and swollen from crying during the drive. I bolted into his office and before I could even say a word he said, Bibee, it's okay. It's okay and I love you. Speechless and weak in the knees, I capitulated on the floor and began to sob. He reached down and stroked my head assuring me that he still loved me and things would be okay.
In Luke 15 we see that the true love and forgiveness of a father led to true repentance in a wayward son. After wild living and squandering wealth on hoochies, a starving man feeding debase animals realizes that life with his father is better than anything money could buy. From a far distance his father ran with open arms to receive him, lavishly pouring kisses upon him. The love of the father motivates a true heart of repentance. For a full discussion and explanation of this parable, the talk from last night is live and ready to download here.