It was the 1980s when I first sat down and read the book of Genesis completely. As a young follower of Christ it was interesting to see a bit more of what I had heard only parts of. However, being the first full read, it still was only a surface understanding. But the story of Joseph stood out a bit since my middle name is Joseph.
As the decades went on, it became clear to me that often what we read in the Bible are stories of things that we experience in a milder format. When Paul writes the “I am talking like a madman” passage in 2nd Corinthians 11, which is literally “beside myself”, I suggest it is there to allow us to know that in the Lord’s grace, we will not have to endure such extremes.
The extremes, both lows and highs, of Joseph I have not experienced, but I have tasted so much of milder versions. There are numerous cases where I have expressed to my Christian brothers that what is happening is wrong, and more often than not simply theft. It has caused me to be shunned and repeatedly fired. My followup has often been decisively wrong, but again there is Paul’s model of being the chief of sinners and I claim to be his deputy.
There is little evidence from those who I am pursing reconciliation with that they will respond to my requests. As of July 21, 2021 there hasn’t been a single response to 3 months of daily postcards. Nor is there any response to now over 1,200 voicemails to my kids. The postcards and voicemails are online.
Then there is Genesis 45 where we read “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” For me my desire is to say face-to-face to my young kids, “I am your dad! I’m still alive.” So what is my wife’s response? She goes to the state to get a restraining ordered.
I think often of holding my 8 month old son Zadok on my chest asleep. Then taking him to a van with the other kids for my wife and kids to spend the day with friends. That was 9 years ago and I haven’t seen my young kids since.
This is what reminds me of Genesis 42:21.
Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
Do you think I will stop pursuing a reconciled family? NOT A CHANCE!
My love for my wife and kids is as strong as ever. I will not turn from my wife.
My kids are familiar with my often repeated line “my home is your home, I will never cast you out.” That stands.
There is distress in my soul. Will anyone listen?