I look into my sons face and he makes me smile.
It may seem like a small thing, but his really does.
He melts my heart in a way that little else in this world has ever really done.
He has a joy and enthusiasm that I know I had at his age, and I intend to protect this.
He has a goofiness and unencumbered laughter that I miss in myself as an older man.
I see so much of myself in him and it altogether amazes and terrifies me.
I want to protect him from the world, and all the things in this world that will work to slowly erase that smile until it is something that no longer comes so naturally but rather is something he needs to work for.
In his laughter and joy I receive redemption again and again.
In his innocence I find myself face to face with my failings and at the same time I am forced to find strength.
Children are good for this, they show us in themselves all that we can be and force us to acknowledge all that we have lost.
In my love for him, I am reminded of Gods love for me, and the sorrow that I have caused him in the numerous times that I have gone astray.
I had often thought that this journey of redemption I am on was simply for myself or for the lost folks in the world that I know God wants me to reach with my story.
But I also realize that it is just as much for him.
I am not the strongest man, nor am I the most capable man but as a man I believe that this is a source of strength.
My scars and my missteps are a lesson for my son. They give me a way to teach him through my own hard learned lessons that there is so much more to this world than that which we see or believe.
I can teach him to be the man who I am today, and more than that through my story and through my past. Through my triumphs and tragedies he can start at a place which is leaps and bounds beyond where I began from.
He is my redemption and my salvation, or at least a piece of it.
He is my ministry even more so than all those other lost folks who will see my story and be touched by it.
And I will not hide this from him, not one scar or painful moment.
He will know that his father is a man with flaws and failings like every other man, like himself.
And we will be able to talk and learn from each other.
His joy and enthusiasm will give me hope and joy in the future ahead, and my knowledge and faith will give him hopefully a way to avoid these pitfalls that I have fallen into again and again.
And if and when he does fall, he will know that there is nothing which he needs to hide from me because I have been there, and can lead him again and again to the map to the way and to the Grace which God has given to us time and time again.
I will be for him, what so many men failed to be for me throughout my life, an example and a friend.
My son, and my redemption.
Sounds funny doesn’t it, but to me it makes total sense.
He is a part of me, and I am a part of him.
And he is simply one more part of the total reconstruction that is underway in making me the man who God has for me to be.
He is, reconstructing James