May My Kids Learn THIS Lesson

2:12 PMHeather

"Mama?" Caris called from the backseat as we took the boys to school. 

"Yes, Caris?"

"What grade will we all be in 5 years?" she asked.  She has this thing about thinking ahead.  I don't know if she is secretly counting down to her days as an only child when the boys have left the house.

"Hmm, in five years, you'll be in 8th grade, and Cooper will be in 11th grade, " I answered absently.  "And, Collin will college."

My heart sank.  Really?  In 5 years, my first born will be out of the nest, and off flying on his own?  It's just one of the little panic moments I have when I realize that my years to influence my children within my home are flying by.  I find myself in angst wondering if I taught them enough.  Did I teach them the right things, did I prepare them enough, pray enough, love enough, forgive enough, show enough by example?

And, more and more, I'm coming to realize one thing that is top of my list.  We have prayed for our children since way before we wanted to have them.  We've tried to point them in God's ways, intentionally and with great purpose.  We've sung the little songs, read the devo books, taken them to church, and watched Veggie Tales.  

But, have I taught them how to love?  I mean REALLY love?  Love like Christ?  Have I instilled in my children to love beyond skin color, economic status, religious affliation, sexual orientation, and political party?  Have we shown them ENOUGH that important ministry of Christ?  To step beyond the comfort zone and befriend and love and care for those with whom they may have little in common?  Have we made a big enough deal about the fact that to be the hands and feet of Christ, they gotta be willing to see past facades and the exterior to the beauty of each soul that God made?  Have we emphasized how inclusive God is?  Or, have we lived within our own little bubble so much that my kids confuse different as some criteria to judge?

Over the last few years, I feel God moving within me more and more to get to the heart of my faith.  It's love.  I see how the church can be so inwardly focused that it can become exclusive.  How can we ever have an audience and influence with the world if we refuse to love them right where they are?

Is that not what Christ did?  He left his lofty role in heaven to bend down to earth to live among us sinners right where we are.  He didn't sit on his throne and beckon us to dare to drawn near.  He came right here, loving us as the mess that we are.  He didn't require righteousness in order to belong and be loved.  NO, it was in his loving that we can find we belong and can receive His righteousness.   Choosing to love.  Choosing to make his sacrifice available to ALL.  

I don't know that I can truly articulate this heart transformation for me accurately.  I grew up in a pretty little bubble with a happy little life.  And, then the bottom dropped out and my world unraveled.  And I realized that life is dirty and people are flawed and bad things happen.  And those who had never darkened the church's door still had a sweet ministry to me in my hurting.  And, my black and white perspective of those who are "right" and everyone else began to melt to gray.  Good intentioned strong believers wounded me in their surely well-intentioned desire to "help."  And, some of those who carried me knew little of the Jesus I serve.  Through it all, I realized something very important.  We are more alike than different.  We hurt.  We cry.  We laugh.  We dance.  We love.  We press on, one day at a time.  And, we need each other.  Those who live in their pretty little church bubbles are missing out when those outside the bubble are ignored.    

Glimpse of GRACE:  As music so often does, I've long loved a song that so perfectly articulates my heart's cry on this topic.  It's Stained Glass Masquerade by Casting Crowns.

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around

Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay

If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people

Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there

Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing

And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free

If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open

Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

May we be the love of Jesus.  To all around us.  May our grace and our love and our compassion be the light that we take into every place we go.  May we be known by our love and not our criticism.  In so doing, we are Christ to a hurting world. 

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Contact Form