My Sister and the Cat
There was a cat sitting on my lap, and I was petting it as I talked to my sister. We were talking about all the pain and challenges we were going through, especially with my mother. I had just told my sister how difficult it was to love my mother when the cat jumped off my lap. My sister then said, "The cat took your love and ran off without giving you anything in return...but it was easy for you to love the cat."
Dad and the Gas Stove
One dark day, I exploded at my ill mother, with a rage that shocked me. Furious with her for the effect that her devastating illness had on our family, I put my hand into a wall. Instantly I knew I had crossed the line and that I had to leave home permanently. My father, ever the gentle and wise leader of our family, asked me to come into the kitchen. He stood by the stove and turning a gas burner on, he said, “Bobby, put your hand over this flame and tell me what you feel.” The fire was burning hot heat, so I replied, “I feel pain.” Dad asked me to put my hand back over the flame and leave it a little longer, and then describe what I felt. “More pain,” I replied.
He looked deeply into my eyes and said, “That is what your mother feels, Bobby, only she cannot escape her pain.”
The Popping Balloons Story
Jesus put me on a swing and I saw these heavy, dark balloons appear over people's heads. He handed me a bunch of darts and told me to throw them at the balloons. As the balloons popped, the dark clouds were dispelled. Light, joy, and freedom was released over them... and over me.