Thoughts on a Phone Call

I think often, I think compulsively, about the last phone call I had with my father, certain portions of which feel permanently lodged into various portions of my brain, parroting the same phrases again and again in a 1,000-year half-life. I did not know it would be the last time I would ever want to speak to him. I used to speak to him often, and enjoy it, and looked forward to the next time I would speak with him again. Yet there was one thing I always knew, in all our talks both public and private, which was that it was not possible for a child of John Ortberg to express anger at John Ortberg. You might have suggestions, you might come to him as a supplicant, you might prayerfully encourage him to reconsider, petition in hand, but anger he would always reject right out. Sweetly at first, then with thunder. So often I would find myself choking on the one thing I wanted to say to him, the one thing I knew I couldn’t say, the one thing I would be endlessly punished for, and receive in response:

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