I noticed what was happening to me and the men around the room when Brent was reading an entry from his journal. We were hearing something very personal from his heart and it was inspiring to us. Part way through reading the entry, Brent broke down and got a little teary, as did others in the room. His love for his daughter and his understanding of God’s love for him moved us as we listened. I was glad he took the time to journal what he did. I hope you enjoy it like we did.
(Steve Klassen & the MARK Centre team)
“This morning we read through Isaiah 55:1-3 several times. At the end of that passage, God, you say, “Give ear and come to me”. You gave me a picture of what that means this morning.
My daughter Aislynn is 4 right now and sometimes (like all of us) she struggles to deal with or manage her emotions. When she feels angry or sad in particular, these emotions can overwhelm her and make situations that have minimal significance into major episodes, full of tears and hurt. In a moment of parenting wisdom that I do exercise on occasion, I asked her to come to me. I gently waved to her from across the room and said softly, “Aisy, come”. Aisy comes across the room and I pick her up, facing me, and sit her on my lap. I then wrap my arms around her and press her beautiful, tender little heart to mine. Just that act of pressing our hearts together has a profound effect on both of us. The world stops tilting on its axis and begins returning to its proper place for her. She and I bond and deepen the love we have for one another. Our hearts become more intertwined and it brings us both joy and healing.
When I am feeling the pressures of a difficult day or am struggling to deal with my emotions, I ask her for a hug. I tell her that there is a healing magic in her heart that when she presses it to mine, takes my hurt away. I believe this is what you, God, are inviting me into. This is the intimacy you want for us.”
– Brent Peters, 2017 Pender Island Men’s Retreat participant (photo above taken from the retreat)