Cold Rejection

There was a chill in the air as I watched him take a draw from his cigarette. The tip glowed orange-red in the dark of the parking area as he inhaled. A white cloud of smoke and warm breath, illuminated by a nearby streetlight, emerged as he exhaled.

“You don’t know what it’s like to have the !@$?# beat out of you by your old man,” he said in an angry tone. “Day after day my dad would pound on me.”

“No, I don’t know,” I sheepishly replied. I couldn’t possibly know what he went through, but I knew he had the same hole I did, a deep desire for a loving father. I knew he felt the same emptiness, the same longing for a father’s loving touch; a father’s loving words.

“I’m sorry,” was all I could say. I looked at him in the eyes with sincerity. “You know I do care about you.”

He just swore at me and took another puff from the cigarette. “You’re all liars.”

I was speechless. I could not overcome the years of beatings, the years of disappointment he experienced. How could I overcome the massive wall he built to defend himself? How could I get him to understand he always had a loving father right there with him, that God the Father loves him no matter what. He never disappoints.

He swore again at me — told me to leave him alone. I turned to leave, then hesitated and turned around. “I wish you could see I do care about you.”

He swore again at me. “Just leave me alone,” he shouted.

“Okay,” I nodded and walked away. Before going back inside, I turned to look back at him. The orange-red glow of his cigarette was visible in the dark. “Dear God, help him to see you,” I whispered. “Help him to know you”

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. – 1 John 3:1

© 2019 CGThelen

9 thoughts on “Cold Rejection

  1. That – “I turned to leave, then hesitated and turned around. ‘I wish you could see I do care about you.'” — the obedient heart. What we hear from others is not always what’s in their hearts. Only God has that. But He uses our obedience to speak to His people.

  2. Glad to help. He uses our struggles for that very purpose, so we can encourage each other. Blessings to you as well.

  3. Ah. This is a story I know painfully well, only, in my case, it was more a cycle of abuse-apology-abuse with my mom, leaving me ever uncertain of myself and in perpetual fear I’d mess up and set her off. All I can say is unconditional love takes a long, long time to trust when you don’t have an example of it in your day to day living. All you can do is give time, space, prayer, and keep pouring in the love wherever the Lord opens the door. When you least expect it, the floodgates can open and healing can begin. God bless you. We need more hearts that care like that.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. It encourages me. That’s exactly how I feel with some people I know — that I’ll mess up and set them off; that they’ll attack me. It’s hard to balance that fear with the love. Your advice is spot on — time, space, prayer and wait on the Lord to open doors. Blessings to you.

  4. They will never believe us until we learn to love as He does and our very lives become a living sacrifice before them. I hear, and know, the pain in your heart over this. We have seen it many times. Some times all we can do is pray. Other times He will lead us to people that we can lay down our lives for and they will see Jesus in us. Everyone and every situation is different. Thank you for what you tried to do for this man. God sees your tender heart.

    Homer Les

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. My heart does still ache for him. I need to trust God and his timing. This makes me think of Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Blessings.

  5. My heart weeps for those who reject Jesus because of their abuse and rejection from man. Father, only You have the compassion and mercy to keep going back in the face of our rejection. That alone gives me the hope I need for those I love. My faith and trust is in You Lord to capture their hearts. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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