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Hostile Son Overcome by His Father's Goodness

NPR ran a moving story about a father and son that aired on the hit radio show "This American Life." The episode titled "Know When to Fold 'Em" focuses on David Dickerson's return to the Christian household he had not visited since he left for college. About ten years later, as a hostile 28-year-old, Dickerson wants to undermine his father's "repressive" faith. On the show David says,

I had all this ammunition, and I couldn't wait to use it … And I remember thinking, this is a showdown because my dad and I were at war. My dad didn't know this, but I was at war with him. I was at war with all Christians, and I was just waiting for an excuse to have a shot.

So when his father innocently mentioned some mission work he'd been praying about, David unleashed his fury:

I just rambled on like this. And I knew, essentially, while I was doing this, I was also assaulting his dream. You know, saying everything he was excited about, that he was sharing with me, was misbegotten, was a bad idea, was morally corrupt …. And he just kind of quietly let me do my thing.

David's father let him expend every round of ammunition without arguing or retreating. He simply looked at David and said, "David, I'm really proud of everything you've done." David concluded the show by saying,

And I remember looking at my dad, and I thought—I had sort of expected to argue …. You know, not to win, but to come to some kind of armistice. You know, some kind of truce …. I hadn't expected to lose completely, because you can't argue with decency. You can't argue with goodness.

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