I love my family dearly. Blessed far beyond anything I’m owed, I consider myself among the luckiest men to have ever lived. Wonderful parents and siblings, an amazing wife, and 4 uniquely gifted and extremely wonderful kids, 3 of whom are married to spouses that are adopted into my heart, not to mention the 2 little ones I get the privilege of calling my grandchildren…I hit a home run in life with them!

Loving them all is my greatest honor.

 As we’ve been thinking about watering the soil of the soul, I remember an incident that made me pause. It was an incident that left me feeling that I needed to be poured into, so that I could live a life that poured onto others.

I had screwed up and didn’t feel I deserved much of anything but judgment. I was pretty spun by it all, and I felt shame at a deep, deep level.

Sometimes we bounce back quickly when we make a mistake. This was not one of those times. I was emotionally exhausted, things were on edge in life, and I had to talk to those I love the most.

Confession is not easy. Acknowledging sin is hard enough in the privacy of ones own heart, but sharing that darkness with another is down right scary. But it is necessary.

I talked more to my son Drew than anyone. He was home from California and was there for the whole episode. He listened and didn’t try to fix. He didn’t judge. He embraced me only as Drew can (he is world class hugger).

Drew was the priest in my needed confessional that day. Talking with him inspired me to go talk to all of my kids, their spouses, and my wife. They were all graceful.

Thinking about confession, how it opens the heart for healing to take place, made me think about how we bless others in life. Take Drew for example:

Drew is a gifted listener with an available heart. And he continues to grow into his gift, and his gift continues to grow in him. He is opinionated, just like the rest of his family, but he is tender beyond most you will ever meet. And his tender, available heart is what he blessed me with, and continues to bless me with. This gift extends beyond our family, of course. I know there are many who have experienced this side of my son.

I get the unique honor of being Drew’s dad. At 25, Drew is distracted with 25-year-old stuff, like all of us were. But now, or when he is 35 or 45, he’ll have to choose to be growing in his gifting. I hope to fan the flame of his heart and inspire him to know the impact of his listening ability. It brings healing. It brought needed healing to me.

Honest, open, and true confession does that, it brings healing. Why? Because the one confessing has chosen to come out of hiding, and the guilt he carries in secret is brought into the light. He will now trust his marked heart and life to another, in hopes that restoration will come.

It isn’t easy, it isn’t fast. But healing does come.

Find time to be with great listeners, truth seekers, and available hearted people. Bathe in the freedom and grace that good listening brings. Find time to be healed, friends.

Not withstanding my overflowing heartfelt thanks to all my family, I feel I owe a special appreciation moment to Drew. I learned something profound about the healing that comes through confession to a caring, tender soul.

Thank you Drew, for watering the soil of your dad’s life with your listening, loving heart. I am impressed by it every time I see it. I am healed by it, yet again. For that I cannot say thank you deep enough. You are surely from God.

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