I had the opportunity to meet an extraordinary mother yesterday.
We received a referral for a 25 year old man who was in need of some help. His mother agreed to meet us at his apartment after she finished work, so off we went.
What we found was heartbreaking and as we completed our assessment, and listened to their story my thoughts raced and tears threatened more than once.
You see, this young man was a high school hero. He had received scholarships to continue on. His future seemed bright and successful, and listening to his mother talk about her *baby* made it obvious that she had been very proud of him.
One day, for no apparent reason, everything changed.
He started acting out, becoming angry, sometimes even violent. She would be called to school over and over again. He began hearing voices, and seeing things that were not there.
Finally came the diagnosis: Her bright and beautiful son, in his senior year in high school with seemingly everything awaiting him in the future that she had ever dreamed of for him, was a Bipolar Schizophrenic.
Everyday she goes to his home. He is unable to live with her anymore because he became a threat to other family members, so she goes to him. She fixes him a meal every day and brings it to him. She cleans his home and buys him new clothes and sheets every couple of weeks because he will not allow anyone to take anything out of his home and then bring it back, so she cannot wash his things.
He lived in filth. The coffee table was filled with a huge pile of cigarette butts and ashes, along with discarded cigarette packs. The couch was almost too dirty to even sit on. His clothing, what little he had on smelled, and his nails were long and nasty.
Yet, there she sat, this mother, looking at her *baby* with love shining from her eyes. While others were afraid of him because of his size and his unpredictability she remained faithful, giving up vacations, giving up time with her other children, because he needs her.
As we stood by her vehicle before we left she poured out her feelings.
"I told my church family that I had so many dreams for him, for his future, and now all those dreams are dead. I guess I had too many dreams for him, maybe that is what happened."
While we drove away I couldn't help thinking about my Father. You know, for a few years I turned away from Him, turned away from His blessings. And I became unrecognizable. My heart, my soul became filthy with sin and all of those things of God that I once held so close, all the things that I once wanted to do for Him, became a distant memory as I changed into a completely different person.
I do not know what kind of dreams He had for me, what He would have done with my life had I continued to walk with Him.
But in that mother I could envision Jesus. I could see Him looking at my filth with love in His eyes. There were so many things I should have done, I could have done, and through her eyes I could see how much it truly hurt Him when His dreams for me died.
"I just want him back," his mother said. "I just want him back like he was."
She said he told her once, "I could have really done something, before this thing got in my head."
My eyes filled with tears as I listened to her go into detail about just how he felt he needed to *remove* the thing that was there.
And then I remembered that day, almost 13 years ago when I stood again at the altar. And I thought of Him looking at my life before that day, and longing to have me back. And that day I removed that which was holding me back. I changed my filthy garment and reclaimed my place in His house.
Though those old dreams may have died, He has new dreams for me. One of those dreams is to help others, to reach out to those that are hurting. And as my mind replays yesterday, and recaptures the love I saw shining in the eyes of a parent, I am so thankful that, like this young man, my Father never gave up on me, never stopped wanting me, never let go of the possibility of dreams...for me.