I sat in church yesterday and fought the urge to speak up and say something that would have made my husband want to sink into the floorboards. Since I controlled the urge then... I think I'll get it out of my system now.
It just bugs me sometimes to see and hear the collective ego that can run rampant amongst "righteous people". Im sure it's not just my faith... well, pretty sure, anyway. The Sunday School teacher yesterday said, "Can't you just tell who are the members of our church in a crowd? You can always tell them. They look happier, and have a more wholesome countenance. I love keeping my eye open for members and seeing if I can't pick them out." Then a couple of other class members shared experiences that they'd had to prove his point and the "yeas" rang throughout the room. WHA??? What on earth would cause any one group of people to presume that they held the market on joyfulness and purity, twinkling eyes and "Miss Dairy America" smiles? It irritates the ..bleep bleep.. out of me. Good grief! If it were possible to tell the "righteous" from the "not so righteous" a story like Ted Bundy's would never be told.
And why are we out there looking for "our people" anyway? If we're as godloving and righteous as we claim to be, shouldn't we at least occasionally be spending our time on the lookout for the lost and lonely? Shouldn't we find delight in finding those bereft of hope and giving a hand up to someone who's in a spiritual, emotional or financial slump? I'd rather have my arm around the shoulder of a weeping soul who's looking to find his way back to the good life he can barely remember, than around the shoulder of some pompous, arrogant twit who thinks that his breed of faith gives him the corner on a peaceful face.
And then... in the women's group we got into a discussion on the responsibilities of motherhood and ridiculous promises were thrown out that if we have family prayer, and teach the kiddies church songs, and take them to their youth group activities, and do all the other wonderful things that we all WISH we always did as mothers, that they will never stray from the path to God and eternal life in His Kingdom. Poppycock! In the first place... none of us, and no one that any of us has ever met, meets the criteria for being the Perfect mother...although, mine came close. Stepford mom's, like Stepford wives, are the invention of a somewhat troubled mind. And why would a kind heart speak words in a public meeting that could wound another's heart? I just don't understand how we can be that unaware that a myriad of experiences fill the chairs in every gathering. I promise you this... in any congregation, in any church in the nation... there are mothers whose sons and/or daughters are caught in a tangled web of alcohol or drugs. There is someone sitting in that room who has a child in prison, who's son is gay, who's daughter just had a child out of wedlock... She's hurting and feeling all sorts of misplaced guilt. She needs someone to help her through this heartache... to help her feel like she belongs among the "Norman Rockwell" families she perceives to be all around her. She doesn't need us to stomp all over her pain, or to clumsily intensify her feelings of isolation.
We all do the best we can as mothers. Some didn't have great examples of nurturing to follow. Some were mothers at such a young age that they hadn't grown up themselves yet. Some were completely overwhelmed when too many babies came to quickly. Some have husbands who are neglectful or cruel. Some are happy, intelligent, sweet, and loving women who have done everything right...And some of every one of these groups have a child who has, or is, stumbling along a darkened and rocky road. Almost all of us have regrets...something we wish we'd done more of, less of, or differently. But we did what we knew how to do, what we thought was best at the time.
I heard a speaker years ago who said something that will always stick with me. Not only because his words are a salve... but, because his words make sense. He said,
"So many of us are puffed up and proud because all of our children have served missions for the church, been married in the temple, and have accepted callings of high positions. We stand tall, behind our facade of humility our eyes search for those who applaude our great parenting. But, there are among us parents who have hearts torn in two because they have children who have strayed, become lost, and are struggling mightely along lifes paths. Behind their smiles, their eyes are soft and they search with longing for someone who will understand, who can lift the burden of sorrow for a while. Let me suggest something to you. Is it not entirely possible that God in all of His infinite wisdom, looked at a difficult, rebellious spirit waiting to enter this mortal existance and said, "If this child has any chance at all, it's going to be with the _____ family". And he gave some of his most difficult, challenging spirit offspring to those He knew He could trust to be the most patient...who would be strong enough to carry the difficulties and disappointments... who would never stop believing in the precious child He had entrusted to their care, who would defend them, encourage them, pray for them, plead with them, ..forever, and for always. He found some of His most stalwart and faithful young parents, those He knew could withstand the lessons that would give them an understanding of the pain our Father in Heaven feels at the loss of so many of His own dearly beloved sons and daughters."
Makes sense to me. Anyway... I just had to let pressure out of the cooker before the top blew off and I had a spaghetti dish of stringy thoughts hanging all over the kitchen walls. I feel better now. I hope you're still doing okay.
Spring Clean Up in the Garden
9 years ago