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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
"A little, yeah." Alexander said, wincing.
Max took the tail of his wolf suit in his hand and licked it, using it to clean the wound.
Alexander smiled. "That's better. Thanks."
"I have to leave and go somewhere else now."
"Where?" Alexander asked.
"Anywhere. I ruin every place I go. I ruined this place, too. I... I didn't want Douglas's arm to . . . to get..."
Max couldn't say it.
"You didn't rip it off," Alexander said. "Carol did."
"But I wanted a fort. And I told Carol the sun would die. And I wanted secret doors . . ."
Alexander looked at Max like he was mad. "You really think you wrecked this island? You think you're that powerful? That you're the reason that everyone is happy or sad?
Max wanted to say No, but this is exactly what he was thinking. "But I hit you. I hit you a hundred times."
"Well, you did do that. No doubt about it."
Max finished cleaning the wound and dropped his tail. "That's why I need to leave. I don't want to ever do anything like that again."
"But you still might." Alexander said.
"But I don't want to."
"But you still might. Wherever you go."
Max wasn't sure if he was making himself clear.
"But I don't want to," he said.
Alexander barely paused. Instead, he smiled, as if Max was being particularly dense.
"But you still might."
They sat in the silence for a while, watching the rest of the beasts sleeping. In their slumber, the giant creatures were infant-like, almost cute, and at the same time pathetic, tragic, burdened by all they carried with them, far more than Max or Alexander could know. [end of excerpt]
I read this book with Zach, my eleven-year-old son. Neither of us wanted the story to end. Right here, on the pages of a book written for children, is an illustration of love, acceptance of a painful truth, and forgiveness. The creatures in the story are no doubt dysfunctional, but they are . . . family.
What about this excerpt moved you or made you feel uncomfortable? Can you think of something about yourself you want to change, to no avail? Perhaps a loved one has relapsed into an addiction a hundred times.
"God in heaven, let, I pray, Your strength manifest in our weaknesses. Only you have the power to change us from the inside out. Direct our steps and grant us the courage to move out of destructive patterns." In Jeus' name, Amen
*Disclaimer to any women who is in an abusive relationshiop: This story is not meant to imply that fresh resolve and apologies are enough. If you are in danger, it's important to get to a safe place. There are many programs available. I know personally, a family who has healed from domestic violence, and are together to this day. Regardless of our circumstances, human beings do not have the power to rob one another of the redeeming love of God.
Published on Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 4:55 PM CDT