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Do you promise you will come back?

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

I had to leave my home tonight for two hours to attend a church meeting. As always happens there was a major emotional meltdown with one of the younger boys. He begged to come with me, cried, pouted, threw a tantrum, screamed, yelled—-you name it….he did it. But I have never, not once, surrendered to his demands like this. Why does he do this?

Again, I was only gone for a couple of hours, but you would have thought I was being led to an firing squad the way he behaved. Finally, thirty minutes later, he was exhausted, apologized, hugged me, asked once more if he could go with me, and then asked me if I would promise him that I would come back. That was the issue. WILL I COME BACK FOR HIM.

The boys that live in my home, my newly adopted sons, have on five occasions (and one on nine occasions), had the biological, step or foster parent leave the house and never return. These boys have been fooled many times by adults that promise to come back——but never do. Being placed in five and nine foster homes has broken their hearts more than one time—-they are hoping that it won’t be broken again by this new dad running away from them. It’s heart-breaking.

And whereas the nineteen year old seems to have real fears that I will never die, the younger ones live in anxiety each time I leave the house that something might happen to me and they will be placed in another home. God, please keep me alive till these boys are each able to live on their own and come to know the warmth of your all-encompassing love!

And so when I did come home there was great happiness and excitement from the younger ones (the older boys are far too “cool” to show their approval of my return). But I would dare say that the youngest was waiting, in great anticipation for my return. Such is his love, dependence, and need of me.

Oh, what a sermon and witness of the Christian’s anticipation of Christ’s return—-either on a personal level or in a great, cataclysmic event! Do I yearn for His return? Am I waiting, each day, for Him to perhaps come again? Could today be that day? What if He came before I finished this sentence…………………….. I would be the happiest I have ever been…but not because I have been the best example of one His servants, nor because I have lived a flawless life… but because I have come to not only know His great love for me-but I have fallen in love with Him. He is the goal, the purpose, the light, the hope, the joy…..the source of all that I have always desired.

For the time being my little sons look to me as the one that makes them feel safe, secure, protected, loved and the one that will always—ALWAYS—-love and look after them. Imagine their joy when they come to know the real source of security, purpose and love. Please pray that they will come to Him….soon. I am a poor surrogate.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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