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baby jesus

It is,indeed,mysterious how the Lord will work right smack in the middle of the most serious circumstances and in the most bizarre ways. Had Big Ernie not been at work in my life during the past few years, I doubt that I would have survived some very tough times. Following the divorce four years ago, my ex and BabyGirl had a great relationship. They played and partied together and he cooked for she and her friends. He worked. Life was good for everybody, considering what we'd been through as a family. Years earlier I had loosened up my baggage in therapy while he remained obstinately in denial about the pain that his dysfunctional childhood had left deep within his soul. In his eyes, it just didn't matter. History, so to speak. That's when we started our road toward the end of the marriage...the end that we all knew was coming. We raised our daughter and finally split the difference on what we had to show for twenty odd years together. Financially it was a serious move for both of us. Lauren was about to start college and our respective incomes would be halved.

Somewhere along the way he fell in love. For the first time in his life, actually. We had only grown to love each other over time as partners will do, but this was the real thing. He fell completely in whacko-heart-and-soul love. She didn't feel the same way, and soon backed off. Pretty soon after that he started to slide. In the end after a nine month crack and meth binge he ended up in the county jail for the second time this year. His truck is gone, and he is homeless with a court appointed attorney who could care less about pro-bono. Beginning on Christmas Eve after a friend gave him our new phone number, the calls started coming for BabyGirl but collect calls were blocked and it was the "holiday" weekend you know. Nobody at phone companies works then, right Hoss? He called four or five times on Christmas Eve and Day and she couldn't accept the charges. You've got to be one hard son-of-a-gun to not feel sorry for THAT guy. I talked to two different phone companies this week trying to negotiate the ability to accept a collect call. As of yesterday evening, still no luck.

BabyGirl and her boyfriend met me as I was pulling into the drive coming from the other direction today. When I eased up next to the mailbox in the drizzle and popped the front open, a hand written letter stood out. You just don't get many of those these days. In pencil, from her Daddy, was a letter to BabyGirl with a return address of the local correctional facility jail. He tried to explain with his words how sorry he is and that he misses and loves her. He wants the chance to be a father again to she and her buddies. From what I have heard he is charged with a felony for something that he was doing to help out an "old buddy" who has a beef with his brother. I know the man well enough to know that he can drink and drug with the best of 'em, but he doesn't steal and that admitting that he is wrong is a remarkable event. It's a place called rock bottom, and I've been there.

She shared the letter with me, and glowed over actually knowing that he was okay. It made me cry to think of that kind man being in that spot. He was always so stubborn that the thought of the broken spirit has haunted me the past couple of weeks. There is an active prison ministry there which seems to have made a mark on his soul. The letter mentioned faith and prayer, and placed in both the top and the bottom was this message.

"Happy Birthday Jesus"

I couldn't help but think to myself," Self. That's a miracle if I ever saw one."
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