“I don’t know where we’re at,” Phil’s dad used to say from the front seat of his handicapped van. In his later days my father-in-law, sweet and intelligent seemed to live in an anxious state of lost.
He leaned far forward against the taut seatbelt, and peered with squinted eyes at the road ahead. The road he’d traveled many times had not changed.
Then he turned toward his son, my husband at the wheel. “I have no idea where we’re at. Do you know where we’re at?”
“I know where we are, Dad.”
“You know how to get home?”
“I know the road home.”
I sat on the bench seat at the very back, a wide gap open between where my husband’s father sat in his power chair at the front. I watched the scene repeat and heard the question like a broken record.
How sad, I thought, to be so disoriented.
Dad lived a full life of ministry, living overseas much of the time, then teaching Spanish in an American classroom until MS crippled his body. But even then he knew where he was going and the reasons driving him.
It seemed like who he’d been once upon a time leached out of him as he aged.
I didn’t realize how much he could still teach me, mentor me, despite thickening fog of old age. Or maybe because.
”And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. John 14:1-6 ESV
Thomas must have felt somewhat like my father-in-law. He squinted ahead but he didn’t recognize the road. He hadn’t yet fully comprehended who was at the wheel. The way home blurred.
We squint too, don’t we in this life of joys, sorrows, fears and doubts?
Our eyes narrow and we try to look beyond those chaotic years when the squirming and shouting of little ones keep us awake.
In dark alone nights we squint for a light in the distance, companionship, a listening ear.
When life and death teeters, we squint to see beyond doctor’s visits, test results and uncertainty.
As children peel off to make their own lives, we squint to see how things will turn out and future cares nearly choke us. “Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” John 14:5 ESV
Squinting grows tiresome.
“You know the way to where I am going.” Jesus assured his disciples. Only dear doubting Thomas had the blunt authenticity to admit he was still lost in fog.
Mere moments passed before my father-in-law said again, “I have no idea where we’re at. Do you know where we’re at?”
“Yes, Dad. We’re nearly home.”
Only dear doubting Thomas had the blunt authenticity to admit he was still lost in fog
He leaned and peered through the darkness and asked again.
“Where are we? I’m lost.”
I recognize that anxious voice inside that pleads with the Father.
“Do you know where I’m at? Do see me? Do you hear me? I feel lost.”
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:1-2
And then as Jesus assured Thomas we can remind ourselves too. God is in the driver’s seat. We can trust Him to get us safely home even though the way ahead is murky. Not only does He know the way, He is the way.John 14:6 ESV
My husband glanced over at his dad, hands on the wheel, “You know me, don’t you?”
My father-in-law turned to his son with surprise on his face. “Well of course I do.”
“I’m driving,” Phil said confidently. “I know the way. You are with me and I will get you home.”
“Oh, you know where to go?”
“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus told his followers.
“You can trust the driver, Dad. I know where to go.”
“You’ve been on this road before?”
My latest article at Bible Study Tools:
Our culture idolizes strength. You might wonder, why we have a hard time with ‘power made perfect in weakness’?
Recently Phil and I have become fans of Grand Monday Nights with Legacy Coalition. August 23 at 7:00 PM CST Phil and I have the opportunity to present a webinar highlighting 4 Imprints of a Grandparent. It would be such an honor to have you join.
Go to this link to sign up to join the free webinar:
Here’s a video preview of what we’ll be presenting?