Call him hardheaded, call him what you will, Josh*(pseudonym) didn’t care, he was
For The Least Of Us met the Clarks* last year while preparing for our annual Angel Tree Christmas celebration. Dad, in the home stretch of his 5 year prison term, had signed on for us to see that his 3 kids not miss out this one last time before the family got back together.
It didn’t turn out that way. Mom had a nice job but was playing incognito. Few knew of her personal life and she fiercely aimed to keep it secret. She wasn’t a happy camper. And she made it abundantly clear she had no intention of being on display attending the party.
Grandma to the rescue. She popped into the old jalopy, moseyed down to Monterey, picked up the children, and joined the other “left behind families” at the gala. After all the children were adorable, happy, and well loved and granny intended to
Mom’s mom, Ruth had lived locally, but when the economy tightened up, she moved upstate. Still Ruth couldn’t let go. Each summer break, for the past five years, the children would vacation with her at the ranch. The other 9 months were filled with daily phone conversations and monthly visits. Angel Tree proved a turn off for mom. She couldn’t risk being seen and identified as a prison family. Once more enter angelic Ruth. She would whisk the children to our annual Christmas gala replete with song, treats, fellowship, gifts, and an opportunity to cover little Jesus at the Nativity scene. Dad would be proud.
As the countdown to dad’s coming out ticked away, mom began falling apart. Forgiveness wasn’t a big ticket item with her. In fact while dad pined away for a second chance at family restoration, mom continued her hiding out even towards him. Dad however never gave up hoping, writing and calling. Rarely was he rewarded.
About a couple of months ago, the family situation hit rock bottom. Mom apparently fell back to her old self, took up with a stranger, didn’t come home many nights, and left the refrigerator bare too often. Her tardiness at work got her fired and last week she was evicted from her rental. Today, no one knows her whereabouts.
Ruth took the two little ones to live with her; Josh stubbornly refused to go along. So God sent three more angels - Dad’s dad, a compassionate neighbor couple, and the staff at Josh’s high school. Among them were temporary adoption, supervision, shelter, food, clothing, and a ton of love and devotion.
This weekend the two local families and Josh will be heading up to the ranch where the little sister will be baptized.
Even Carmel Pres is getting into the act. With Worship in Action Sunday just 2 days hence, a number of families are providing meals for all. In this case the workers are not few. Thanksgiving is here, and Christmas in neigh.
Dad will be released on January 1 and while he has a good job waiting, he will need a term of rehabilitation, restoration, and reconciliation. We are exploring the possibilities, and with God’s help, it will happen. Bill and Pam Ziering Ziering@pacbell.net 831-250-7921 For The Least Of Us”, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit faith-based Christ centered prison ministry (EIN 26-1361229, DLN 17053351309017). Web site: fortheleastofus.blogspot.com And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)