Monday, November 7, 2011

Easier blogged...

True confession: I do not practice what I preach. 

If you have had some idea that I am a super spiritual holy shmoly shining saint, you may destroy that image you have of me now.

After last week's succession of blog posts on the importance of remembering God's faithfulness to those who have gone before...can you guess how many times I shared these great things with my own kids? 

Consider first, the things I have to make this easier:
I have a scrapbook already made.
My husband is a pastor.
It was on my mind all week.
We have pictures of some of those saints (grandparents) in our living room.
And, I have done this before.

So what's my score? 


That's right.  A big fat ZERO.  Not ONCE did I pass on this holy-day joy to my own kids.

And I would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for my son's meltdown before church on Sunday morning.

He was not getting dressed quickly enough, and I was harsh with him.  (Note that this is my most obstinate child, and the one voted most likely to join the mafia.)  All of a sudden, he withered into a puddle of tears.  This is unheard of, I thought. He must be getting sick!

When I asked him what was wrong, he refused to make eye contact.  Instead, he ran into my arms and buried his soaked face in me while he wept.  It took several minutes before I could understand the words that tried to come through his sobs.  

He said, "I think.... I'm ....going to..... die."  
After another round of hearty sobbing he added, "And I think .....coyotes.... might be real!"

My frustration dissolved into compassion.  I rocked and snuggled him for a half hour.  We spoke of scary stuff and of Jesus.
I have had this conversation with his brother before, but now my tough guy?  What is going on with this?  Are my children unusual?  Is it because we live by a cemetery?  Because we are a pastor's family?  Because we let them watch Star Wars?

I don't know.  But I also remember being a child and feeling exactly that way.  I am not sure I have outgrown it.

Later, we looked at the scrapbook together.  He loved it.  His siblings did, too.  They spoke excitedly of all the people we will get to meet in heaven.  They drew more pictures to add to the book.  We sang some of our favorite songs.  God's Word comforted us.

What did I learn from all this?
I learned that I find it easier to write about things than live them. 
(Lord, have mercy.)
I learned that I still fear death, and I still don't like talking to the kids about scary stuff. 
(Lord, have mercy.)
I learned that my children need me to talk about scary stuff, and Jesus
(Lord, have mercy!)

I do not have sufficient comfort for my children.  
But God Himself has mercy on them, and He comforts them with His Word as with arms and a warm blanket.  And there is room underneath this blanket--enough room for all of my children, and for me, too.

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