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Once on a modern time, Bob Blue remained angry but he went to worship services anyway. He felt he had been treated unfairly, to say the least. He had always done his best to be the model son and, indeed, a model for his younger brother, Billy.
In contrast, Billy had been allowed to do, and fairly much did, whatever he wanted. What Billy had always wanted to do was practice on that trumpet of his. To Bob's amazement, Billy got more attention from his parents than he did. Indeed, Bob felt that he got no attention from his dad despite his excellent grades throughout high school and now through three years of college.
Last year, when Billy announced that he wasn't going to college, Bob was not surprised. However, when his parents agreed to bankroll Billy's band, Bob was appalled. They gave Billy as much money, in one lump sum, as they had spent for his education over the past three years.
Now, Bob thought, little Billy was back, broke, his band a total failure, and his parents were treating him like some kind of conquering hero! Bob had told his dad how it made him feel, and his dad had apologized, if you could call it that! Billy was on the payroll at the family farming-supply business, enjoying all the benefits of living at home. Meanwhile Bob, himself, was off at college during the week learning how to actually contribute to the business. Bob just knew that he did more on the Saturdays when he worked there than Billy did all week.
On leaving the worship house, Bob saw Faith Moon. Her name had been mentioned by both his mother and father as being helpful in dealing with the situation of Billy's return. Bob felt like giving her a bit of his mind, but thought better of it. Doing so wouldn't improve the situation and it certainly wasn't going to change her. He also thought that basically she was a nice person just as he was.
However, when she walked up to him, he changed his mind. Something about the way she was all smiles, like she had single handedly solved all his family's problems, made him really want to put her in her place. So, he told her that he didn't know exactly what she had done but, whatever it was, she hadn't helped make the situation right at the Blues' house. An injustice had been effected against him and had not been corrected. In the future, perhaps it would be best if she just minded her own business!
To Bob's amazement, his speech seemed to have no impact on Mother Moon at all. He thought she might get offended, but she didn't seem so at all. If she accepted what he'd said, she might have apologized. She didn't appear ready to do that either. Instead, for the moment, she just stood there with that little smile of hers still on her face.
Finally, she spoke in a voice so soft that none of the others standing within feet of them could hear. Yet he heard her words so clearly:
You are an angry yet unfocused man,
Much like the golden carp who feeds on waste.
Consider your deep anger's rasping sore.
You feel neglected but you are much loved.
The rasping sore is not your brother's return.
It is your father's neglect, neglect seeded from love.
When you misplace a glove, do you not go in search of it?
When you find the one glove, its partner's value is increased.
It seems your Dad has now passed his cat's cradle on to you.
Today, you must decide how you want to reweave its threads.
Your life has solid direction as his always had.
Can you forgive and season it with love?
Do not blame others for your problems now.
Instead forgive them and move forward with your life.
In order to grow past your father's past mistakes,
You must see them in your acts and forgive his sins.
Become as the black walnut as it shades the tender young red bud.
The tall black walnut does not envy the spring beauty of the smaller tree
Because the shade provider knows its seeds and wood are greatly prized.
Faith Moon was still smiling as she walked away that day, but Bob Blue was too stunned to notice. It was several minutes before he felt like he had come out of a spell. It was only when he was back at college that he knew he had forgiven his dad and then he repented for his anger.