Wednesday, October 26, 2005


So, I have been going through something incredibly difficult (at least for me) right now. It’s stressful, and emotional and conflicting. Some of you know we have had one of Christopher’s friends living with us. Originally he just appeared having no place to stay, and I figured sure, I’m happy to help him out. I would hope someone would do the same for my son if he was in that position. Well, K was in the Marines, and I assumed he was home before being shipped out. I was wrong. About 4 weeks into this I found out he had been less than honorably discharged and was no longer a Marine. Still, his family had kicked him out, he had no money and no job, and just needed a break to get back on his feet. So he stayed. I knew he had some issues, but they never surfaced in my house. Well it is now apparent that not only does he not have a job, he won’t go look for one and doesn’t want one. He goes to the pool hall all the time. We have found out that he has a gambling problem. So much so that he steals to get money to support the addiction. One item has gone missing from our house, but I have no proof he had anything to do with it, so I keep letting him stay. He needs love and acceptance and a chance to live with a family for awhile. He needs to feel that someone believes in him and is willing to give him another chance. Finally though, last week, after seven weeks, even my son (not exactly the paragon of responsibility) has had it. His comment was, if he had wanted a child he would have had his own….
Anyway. K being here is starting to affect my family adversely. And I am sad. I am also worried, and scared. Knowing more of the things that I now know I am also angry with myself that I have let someone stay here who has emotional problems (and won’t take meds cuz he’s sure he’s not sick, or seek help) and is a possible danger to my kids, especially my girls. But I still can’t put him out. I just can’t. I am not sleeping at night because I worry about keeping my kids safe. I’m sick because I am stressed and overwhelmed. But I just keep thinking about what Jesus would have done. This undoes me every time. I guess it is also a boundary issue – my ability to make wise choices, and say yes and no, but where is that fine line between boundaries and compassion? I just feel so bad for him, so afraid. I can’t bear to put him on the street. It is breaking my heart.
My friend tells me I have the gift of mercy. The gift of Mercy: This gift enables certain Christians to feel exceptional empathy and compassion for those who are suffering so that they devote large amounts of time and energy to alleviate that suffering.
I never realized there was a gift of mercy, or even thought that I might have it if there was. So I decided, because I had no books on the subject to see if there were any quizzes on line on Spiritual Gifts. And I found several, and not believing the results of one (because I really don’t trust these quizzes) took three different ones. Two were from Christian Websites where they try to help you ascertain what gifts you may have. I was very careful and thoughtful as I answered the questions (anywhere from 60 to 100 of them...) On all three the top result was mercy. Wow. I’m not gonna tell you the rest – I feel funny doing that, and it is not really relevant to this post. (But they surprised me too, and were pretty consistent from one quiz to another. If you want to know – e-mail me.)
What I’m saying is that sometimes we don’t even realize the gifts we have - that God has intentionally given us. And apparently we use them anyway. Huh. We just need to follow his lead, and let him work through us showing Christ to others. Will it make any difference that I know I probably have this gift? I don’t know. I will have to think on that a while. Perhaps it was better when I didn’t know so there was nothing to feel prideful about, or have an inflated sense of spirituality. But now that I know I have it, I have to live with it, and work with it, and use it for God’s glory, and to be a blessing and help heal others I come in contact with as I strive to live in the way of the kingdom.
I still don’t know what to do about K. I think I do, but I’m trusting God to show us the way.


anne said...

Karen, I'm not surprised at all that you have the gift of mercy, as it seems so evident in you. Remember too as you struggle with this situation with K. that mercy for him might also mean not enabling him to continue with his behavior but giving him the space alone to really see things clearly. Remember with that gift of mercy, that you must also extend it to yourself as Christ would do.

Much love...

Tammy said...

jesus was strict with people sometimes. i think he would set some limits with this young man, and make him choose between becoming responsible immediately, or moving out.

i think that's real love.

i'll pray for you cause this is much easier to talk about then it is to do it.

gerbmom said...

Thanks Anne and Tammy.
The rest of the story....
K is now gone, but not without emotional stress and, after more things came to light, a little anger. My son Chris has a heart of gold, and really tried to do the right thing and help his friend. All he got to show for it was a stolen video camera and many attempts to steal the money in his bank account. What K does to me is one thing, but what he did to Chris really makes me mad. Almost has kicked my butt beyond empathy and feeling anything at all for him except anger. It's just so sad that an addiction has you so bad that you have to steal from not only your family, but also a friend who is perhaps your last chance to get your act together. I keep asking myself how could I have even let this kid stay here? I just keep thinking what coulda happened. Yep, I can pray, but right now my attitude sucks. I am so relieved he is gone. The one thing that saved me yesterday from feeling guilty was that he went from here to home, and not from here to the streets. Angry as I am, I think I still woulda felt really badly about that.

Mike Clawson said...

I'm glad that things have been resolved. I feel bad for Kyle, but it's hard to know what would help him right now. If he won't admit he has a problem how can anyone help him fix it? You did the right thing.

Amanda said...

The enemy works through the weakest of weak. Apparently he found K and K did the evit to those that were willing to extend their hand to him. Monetary things can be replaced, that's only temporary, but what you did for this child is a lifetime of knowing you did what Jesus would have done.

Good luck to you and your family.