February 14AN EVERLASTING LOVEJeremiah 31:3I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness One night I came home from work and my wife Joanne met me at the door. “You better go talk to Karl,” she said solemnly. “I think Karl threw his hamster, Johnny, this afternoon.” I went to Karl and asked him point blank, “Did you throw Johnny this afternoon?” He denied it firmly. Unfortunately for poor Karl, there was an eyewitness that afternoon. Again I confronted Karl, this time with one of those oversized plastic whiffle bats which make a lot of noise on a child’s behind without inflicting too much damage. “Karl, tell me the truth. Did you throw Johnny?” “No.” Whack! No matter how much I threatened, Karl wouldn’t confess. I was frustrated. Finally I gave up. A couple of days later Joanne met me at the door again. “You better go talk to Karl. Johnny died.” I found Karl in the backyard mourning over his little hamster. Karl and I talked about death and dying, then we buried Johnny. “Karl, I think you need to pray now,” I said. “No, Dad. You pray.” “Karl, Johnny was your hamster. I think you need to pray.” Finally he agreed. This was his prayer: “Dear Jesus, help me not to throw my new hamster.” What I couldn’t coax out of him with a plastic bat, God worked out in his heart. Why did Karl lie to me? He thought if he admitted to throwing his pet, I wouldn’t love him. He was willing to lie in order to hold onto my love and respect which he feared he would lose if he admitted his misbehavior. I reached down and wrapped my arms around my little son. “Karl, I may not approve of everything you do, but I’m always going to love you.”
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