Our son, Jordan, was born with the “golden retriever” personality. He was loyal to a fault. He absorbed the emotion of those who surrounded him. When he loved – he loved deeply. Whatever he felt – he felt deeply.
This was both a blessing and a curse.
The loss of my job in the summer of 2003 was traumatic on the entire Watts family – but it devastated our three children. In particular, Jordan.
As a victim of Clinical Depression, myself, i was wrestling with very dark days at that time. Jordan absorbed every last drop of fear, confusion, and despair that tormented me. That was the part of Jordan’s personality that was the “curse.”
But here’s the part of Jordan’s personality that was the “blessing.” An awe-inspiring blessing. (This is powerful truth that God can take the worst this planet can deliver – and use it for His glory.)
As I was busy one afternoon putting together my resume I heard something behind me. I turned around to discover it was Jordan (he had just turned 10 years old.) Huge tears rolling down his cheeks, I could literally feel both the hurt and compassion emanating from his little body. Then, I noticed he was holding something. He looked at me and in his yet-to-have-deepened-high-little-boy-voice said, “Dad, God told me to paint this for you.”
It is, to this day, the most powerful “sermon” I’ve ever “seen.”
There are those rare moments you are keenly aware that you are on “holy ground”. This was one such moment.
He showed me his painting. The watercolors were still wet. We embraced, held each other tightly, cried together, worshiped Christ together, then cried together some more.
Inscribed on the plaque at the bottom of the painting: “When We Hurt, God Hurts” – Painted by Jordan Watts; August 2003.
Jordan’s painting (shown below) has since always hung in my office. It now hangs in our home. Little did Jordan know that he was, at 10 years old, preaching to our family a sermon we would again need 9 years later after his own death in May, 2013.
To you, my friends: This is truth! We have a God who not only cares, but who “put on skin” and entered into our mess – to hurt with us, cry with us, hug us, hold us, and save us.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick