The months seemed to flow by as Aileen petitioned the Lord on Cindy’s behalf. The world continued going on around her though. She still went to work every morning. She still cooked, cleaned and maintained her home. Yet, every evening when her husband went to bed she sat in her glider rocker and took out her prayer notebook. She asked the Lord for justice on behalf of her family.
She aligned herself up with what the Lord wanted rather than her own wants and needs. She began to praise the Lord and thank Him for all he is and all he had already done. She began to go to the back of her notebook and date the page. Then she wrote down all of the things she was thankful for. This led her into silent praise and worship as she thought of her favorite worship songs. There were a few times she fell asleep with a hand on her prayer requests.
Aileen took this time to dive into the word of God. She looked up things and then cross referenced them. She was a college graduate and had learned to study a long time ago. She asked the Lord to give her wisdom and knowledge as she read her bible. She was going to learn what the Lord said and line herself up with it.
Psalm 37:4 says to ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ Aileen found that she was always looking forward to her time with the Lord.
She looked down a bit and read ‘He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.’ This was a promise and she hung on to it.
‘Lord God, you are a righteous God and I seek your justice. For years my family has had weak spots in the area of alcohol and lust. Right now my first grandchild is an act of your grace. In your undeserved favor you have seen fit to grant me a grandchild. I thank you Lord. No matter the circumstances of her conception, you created this life. I thank you Lord! Make my son see through different clear eyes. Pray for Cindy’s salvation and that this precious child be born healthy. May the root of lust end in her life. I pray that she will have ears to hear and eyes to see the glory of the Lord.’
Aileen sat back and thought of Abraham in the bible. How he must have prayed for his unborn son. How he must have thanked the Lord for him in spite of his circumstances. How he must have pleaded with God on Ishmael’s behalf. Yet, he stood by and let God have his way.
‘I too will let God have his own way. No matter the cost of me. He is Lord and he knows best.’ As she thought of these things she knew the pain of possibly not being there with this grandchild. Cindy’s family refused to speak to her. The girl would not speak to her either. Even her son stayed away from the house most of the time. What was the future to bring. Aileen had no idea.
One morning as she was at work, she received a phone call. ‘Aileen, you have a phone call’ she was told. She picked up the phone and it was Tom. ‘Sweetie, we are grandparents. Cindy had a baby boy.’ After work the two of them went out of town to see the baby.
The hospital room was crowded with Cindy’s family. Tom and Aileen silently walked to the bedside. ‘Hi Cindy…how are you doing child?’ Cindy looked tired and yet happy. ‘I’m tired but it was worth it.’ Aileen nodded and smiled. She and Tom gazed into the small crib and looked at their grandson. He was a little red and both hands were in a fist. He was beautiful. From behind them Cindy spoke. I’ve decided to name him Travis James.
Aileen and Tom smiled into the crib. Tom handed Cindy a package. ‘Here is a little something for the baby. Let us know if you need anything.’
Cindy’s mother took the package. ‘I think she has all she needs. She had two baby showers.’ Tom and Aileen didn’t know what to say. Cindy’s mother went on. ‘Feel free to visit him though. He’s just as much your grandson as mine.' Cindy's mother gave a nervous look to her husband. It seemed like an empty invitation yet they were glad.
That day on the way home they prayed together as Tom drove. They were tired and stopped at a local diner on their way home. As Aileen picked at her food she looked over at Tom. The two of them seemed lost in their own thoughts. Tom was a quiet man and watching his son turn away from God had been hard on him. He was more than just a church goer. He was a gentle and encouraging man to all who went to him. He had tried to be there for his son.
When Michael was young, he coached his little league. When he played football in high school, he went to every game. His son pretended he was not there at times. Tom would invite him to go out to dinner, just the two of them. His son rejected that and went off with his friends. After he was found selling drugs from Tom and Aileen’s home, he left for the last time.
Tom and Aileen seldom knew what he was doing or where he was. He’d been arrested a few times and Tom had refused to bail him out the last time. He had driven drunk and lost his license. At one point he had phoned home and asked his father to come get him, from a home filled with drug dealers. At this moment, he had no idea where his son was. He was not at the hospital when they were there.
Aileen remembered the psalm she had been studying. Psalm thirty seven verse 7. ‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him ; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret- it only leads to evil.’
This verse was spoken by Tom on the way home. He reached over and took Aileen’s hand. Tears streamed down her face and yet she spoke. ‘It is well with my soul’ and yet I am saddened by the choices our son has made. If only he had been there.’
‘Perhaps he will be there later in the day.’ Tom encouraged.
That evening they got a phone call from Cindy’s father. ‘Look, I told your son to stay away. He came in with one of his drugged up buddies. Your son was higher than a kite. Keep that piece of filth away from my daughter. I have hired a lawyer to make sure he never sets foot near her again. As for you two? You can only see him if you have us nearby. What kind of son did you raise?.’ He shouted as he spoke to my husband.
Tom was shaking and yet he found his voice. ‘Thank you for calling. Good night sir.’
He sat down in the living room and looked out into space. The fireplace was on but he didn’t see it. I reached over and put my arm around him. Tom started to tell me what was said but I stopped him. ‘I heard every word Tom. Your answer was adequate. What would pleading our cause do? We can’t make them believe we are not like our son. This is God’s hands.’
As Aileen sat that night with her husband, she had no words. Tears streamed down her face as she praised the Lord. ‘Soul, you WILL praise the Lord at all times.’ She said this over and over. Tom remembered the verse. ‘Psalm 34’ is a good chapter Aileen. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ verse one! ‘His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’
‘Yet on a night like this I remember Psalm 126:5 ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.’ He said. The two of them sat on their sofa watching the fire for over an hour. They held each other as the tears came. They knew in their hearts that God was still on the throne. Yet, this was hurtful. God understood their pain. That evening as they lay down, they continued to hold each other. After they had prayed, they fell asleep without dreaming.