Play with him

A few years ago,

At the end of a talk I was giving in France,

A man came along and asked me a question:

–         ‘my son doesn’t want to come to church with me,

he spends all his time with his #*@#! computer games.

I’ve tried reasoning with him again and again: it’s like talking to a brick wall!

What should I do?!’


I looked into his soul and replied:

–         ‘play with him!’


As he was left open-mouthed by my comment, I went on:

–         ‘how do you expect him to be interested in you (and your church),

If you don’t take an interest in what he does?’


Pensive (and a little disappointed) he went on his way.

I expect he would have preferred it had I exorcised an evil spirit from his son’s computer games …


Your sons will return

Another time, at the end of a talk,

(everyone will think that I only do the ends of talks!)

I was giving an elderly man a lift back to his house.

When I switched the engine on, the CD player came on automatically too.


It was the passage where Jacob, now very old, talks to his son Joseph, whom he’d given up for dead for so many years:

(no, Joseph hadn’t recorded a CD, it’s just an audio bible)

–         ‘I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too!’ (Gen 48:11)

Without stopping to think, I said to him:

–         ‘this is a message for you…’

And I don’t really know why,

but the Lord  prompted me to tell him the anecdote I told at the start of this email.


Lost in thought, the old man said:

–         ‘My kids and I used to make dens in their bedrooms with sheets and things. We made up this whole new world, full of adventures… ‘

–         ‘That’s great! I replied, you must have had loads of fun together… ‘

–         No, he said, bitterly, because instead of playing with them, I told them off and told them to tidy their bedroom…(pause)… You know, my children no longer want anything to do with our faith…

All was quiet for a while…

then I broke the silence:

–         ‘it’s not too late to tell them you’re sorry…’


I would have liked to have finished with ‘and they lived happily ever after’ (well…something along those lines)

But I don’t know if they did…

All I know is: that I’m going to go and play with my kid…




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