When The Mind and Heart Are Synchronized…
Then my friend turned serious. He asked, “Do you remember my son Tony” (not his real name).
Yes, I remember him when he was very young.
My friend continued to tell me this story, At 14 or 15 we realized that we were going to have a problem on our hands with Tony. He started getting into trouble at school, running with a bad crowd and before long the police were involved. During his juvenile years he was in and out of court on all the little stupid things kids do to skirt the law.
When he turned 17 things got serious, drugs, break and enter offences. We were at wit’s end. We tried everything we could within our grasp to help him and sometimes he showed glimpses of wanting to change.
Going to jail for short stints broke our hearts but we hoped for the best, that he would come out realizing the road he was heading down. He seemed to try hard but his addictions and friends were too much for him to overcome even if he wanted.
One night after what looked like days of drug use he broke down. He couldn’t take any more and was looking for a way out. He asked Jesus to help him, come into his life and take away all the bad that was going on in his life.
I could see my friend looking deep inside his memory trying to put the right words to the pictures in his head. He took a big sigh and continued.
I really thought the lord had taken hold of him that night. It seemed like he was so genuine and the peace that came over him was supernatural. We had high hopes and were so thankful knowing that He was now in God’s hands.
But it didn’t last. After a few days he seemed to become more distant toward us, you could see him struggling to keep things together. I even took him to church thinking that maybe he could meet someone his age that could help him through the teething process. But he just wasn’t interested.
He was 20 years old by this time. He went off the rails, again and his drug use and illegal activities went into over drive. He was already out on bail waiting a court case for previous offenses. So he gets caught on a number of break and enters and charged with a string of offenses. His bail was revoked and he was sent to remand to wait his day in court. He pleaded guilty to all charges and going to court was a formality. He spent 4 months in remand.
My friend told me that he and his wife took off work and went to court to support their son. Since he had pleaded guilty it was just a matter of how long a sentence he got and how much longer he would have to stay in jail.
My friend continued his story.
We were somewhat nervous going to court as we didn’t know what to expect. When he was brought in he acknowledged us with a smile. I nodded, his mum blew him a kiss.
The prosecutor read out the charges which seemed to go on forever. We were dumbfounded by all that he had been caught doing. At one point I bowed my head wondering when it would stop. And these are just the ones he got caught for. I really wanted to know where Jesus was in all this as I knew that Tony was in God’s hands but it seemed like he had deserted him somewhere along the line before he even had a chance to change.
Tony, got 18 months. He has to serve 6 months of that time before he can get out on parole so we waved goodbye once again as he was taken away to spend another 3 months or so incarcerated before being let out again.
Our fear was that when he did get out he would go right back to his old ways. I am embarrassed to say this Sammy but I had doubted that Tony had actually received the Lord and if he did Jesus wasn’t doing anything about it.
I actually decided not to visit him in jail. There was nothing to talk about as our conversations were nothing more than me asking him questions that he didn’t want to answer. I think 30 seconds was the longest one-sided conversation I had with him for many years.
Then something changed in him. In his phone calls home we noticed something different. He was able to string two or three sentences together that actually made sense. He was going to spend his 21st birthday in prison so we decided to visit and see how he was doing. In some ways I was happy to go and see him but I thought that the one hour visiting time was a very long time when there is no communication.
The rules of the prison allowed only non contact for the first three visits so we were sitting behind a thick glass window. As much as we wanted to hug him the best we could do was talk and that we did.
It was the best hour I had spent with Tony since he was a child. More importantly his countenance was different, he was talkative and we were both amazed at the wisdom he was showing concerning what he was learning in his life. At one point, Kathy asked him if he was seeing a counselor in prison because what he sharing with us was so profound. Very un-Tony like.
He even told us that his mind and heart are now synchronized.
My friend continued, On our way home we were almost speechless as we tried to process what just happened. We know it’s just a start and our son has a long way to go but we were encouraged.
My friend looked at me and smiled, before he added, “the best part Sammy, was when Tony said, “I pray for you both every night”.
As we said our goodbyes I told my friend that I would keep Tony in my prayers.
I thought about the story of Tony for quite a few days after as it left quite an impression on me.
If I may add to Tony’s epiphany, when the mind and heart are synchronized, the body and soul work together in harmony.
(Footnote) My good friend gave me permission to tell his story in hope that it could be helpful to someone else.