Edna and her kids were excited. After a year, her Brent was coming home for a month long Christmas vacation. She was also nervous, fearing he might not like the idea of counseling with Pastor Cortez. She was afraid there could be a big scene, but she knew something had to be done about their situation. She was trying to be more patient and understanding with Brent, Jr., but he was still being difficult.
When the Victory Liner finally pulled into the terminal, the children were almost jumping with joy. As Brent stepped off the bus, tears were running down everyone’s faces as he hugged and kissed them all.
Not wanting to jeopardize their long-awaited romantic interlude that night, Edna waited till the next morning, after the kids were off to school, to have a heart-to-heart talk with her husband. “Honey, there’s something important I need to talk with you about. I’ve been really disturbed about how difficult Little Brent has become, so disrespectful, surly, disobedient. Even the other children have become unhappy. So, I’ve gone for some counseling with a local pastor, and it’s helped me a lot. He wants to see us both, next time, even bring Junior along. Would you do that for me, for us all?”
“Why, you think, or does he think, there’s something wrong with our marriage?”
“No, that’s not it, not really” Edna says. “Well, what is it in then?” Brent demands.
“Well, we have a big problem—your working overseas is the problem, and I know I encouraged you to go. I think we need to discuss it together with Pastor Cortez, and really pray about it. I know you might be making almost 7 times what you could make as an engineer here, but the children, Brent Junior, especially, but myself also, really need you.”
“Well, I don’t know. My own dad was gone most of my growing up years—in fact even went off and started another family—and I turned out alright.”
“Maybe so, honey, but maybe you were hurt more than you realize. Anyway, will you at least think and pray about it?” “OK, honey. Now let’s listen to some Christmas music.”
On YouTube they find the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Oh Holy Night.” “That’s my favorite carol,” says Brent, “Mine, too, honey.” They hold hands and listen:
Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace;
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother, And in His name all oppression shall cease.
And when the choir sings, “Fall on your knees,” they do, tears flowing down their faces.
Brent says “Sweetheart, maybe we’ve been enchained by materialistic thinking. We—I—have a lot to learn about His law of love. Maybe there’s a way out for us, a way to have peace in our family, and still get by financially. Yes, I’ll go with you to see Pastor Cortez; let’s bring our son. Maybe he can even help me with possible effects of growing up without a strong man around, without a dad!”
“Oh, thank you, honey, I’m so glad!” says Edna, hugging her husband.
Author’s note: Merry Christmas to all! For questions or comments use Pete Kuiper on FB Messenger or email@example.com.