When I first heard this classic by Sam Cooke, remixed by father and son duo, Brian and Thomas Owens, it instantly took me back to my relationship with my Father…. A ROCKY ONE….
I was around six years old when my parents divorced, and we moved back south from the West Coast. I resented the divorce from the beginning, and as I grew older, my resentment grew even more and more against my father because he wasn’t there to help my Mom raise me. Even though he called from time to time, he still wasn’t there. I didn’t want anything to do with him, and I made that clear. I thought, Why now? Where were you when we really needed you? Where were you when I needed that father figure for guidance? Why didn’t I get to experience that bond that a dad and his son share? YOU SIMPLY WEREN’T THERE— NOT FOR FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL GAMES, ETC.!
The ‘CHANGE’ came when I was 24, and about to get married. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in my life, and was raising kids of my own, living on the East Coast. At that point, I knew that I had to make amends with my Dad (Matthew 5:23 confirms that), but how? I lost all contact, and thought it was an impossible mission since we were so far apart. Well, God has a way of bringing things together (Isaiah 43:16). My mom had informed me that he had a sister living here also, and it would be easier trying to find her, and then see where it went from there. I did that, and finally contacted him. There was a bittersweet reunion over the phone, and 2 months later I was on a plane to the West Coast to physically see my father after 18 years of separation. I’m happy to say that we now visit and call each other quite often, and our relationship has grown over the years.
Watching the YouTube video of the Owens’ duo, connected with me in so many ways. Check out the video: https://youtu.be/cEXhZ8PwM-Y. There was a moment when it appears that the father acknowledges his mistakes, and opens up to his son. The body language between the two, when the father sings back to his son, said it all for me …That’s me and my pop.
As I write this blog, I’m preparing for another trip to see my father. He just informed me that he was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer. As he was telling me, my spirit went back to when I was a child in need of him, and now he needs my support. How ironic? But as I listen to the lyrics, they resonate so deeply with me—- “It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die, cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky. It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come…” Yes, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that he’s taken care of, and he knows that. It’s my responsibility as a son who loves his dad unconditionally (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). For me, watching the portion of the video in which the son puts his hand on his dad’s shoulder is a clear confirmation that whatever his dad goes through, he’s not alone. Likewise, my dad will not be alone on this journey—I’ll be there for him. I have come to realize that God works in mysterious ways. Regardless who’s right or wrong, he’s still my dad, and we must forgive! Remember, Jesus forgives us on a daily basis. I’m always reminded of that, and I’m grateful.
No message from God could have been any clearer in watching the love, emotion, pain and forgiveness in that video. I knew that I had to make that ‘CHANGE’ to be a better person—not to love selfishly but, abundantly. YES, IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING, BUT YOUR CHANGE IS GONNA COME….
January 7, 2018