Thinking Out Loud

October 24, 2017

When Nones and Dones are More Closely Connected

Our friends offered to pay for dinner — a very nice treat in a newly opened restaurant where we both knew the owner from a previous venture she had sold — so the server was standing next to them as the machine processed their credit card.

Looking at me she asked, “Do you remember me?”

I focused my look at her and said, “You do look familiar. Where do I know you from?”

“You were my teacher in seventh grade.”

Ah, that. It’s easy for me to forget the one year I taught part-time at the Christian school. It seems like a whole lifetime ago.

But as soon as she said her name, and mentioned her mother, the other couple, who now attend the same church as her mom, rather dominated the conversation. It was clear from a comment she made that this young woman would not be attending church with her mom anytime soon.

Is she a “none” or a “done?”

I’m not sure, but she is a person whose life I was invested in — however briefly — many years ago and now here she was, up close and personal, and I saw the whole loss of someone to the body of Christ more acutely.

See…my kids are still in church on Sunday morning, and at this point, I don’t expect that to shift. They’ve set the trajectory of their lives, and barring catastrophic change, I think they intend to keep God in it. In the course of my work however I meet people who tell me stories of kids who lost interest in God, prayer, Bible reading, etc., but there is a difference: I didn’t know those kids when they were young.

The shepherd in me just wanted to grab this girl, enfold my arms around her — please don’t stop reading the sentence at that point (!) — and guide her safely and gently into the fold…

…This is to all those reading who have a son or a daughter who has wandered: I get it. Really, I got it before but now I have another name and face to add to the list of the many I’ve been aware of in this situation. I know with all your heart you just want to lead them back to Jesus and say, ‘Okay you two; sit down and talk.’

That’s what He wants, too. 

Pray for her


Coincidentally, I wrote this on Sunday at C201:

If you have a son or a daughter; or a brother or sister; and they have wandered away from their faith because of sin, it’s really important to encourage them to continue to keep the dialog going between themselves and God, even in times of brokenness.

In that spirit, we want to be a church that welcomes people — all people — even if that means people caught in addictions, same-sex couples, people covered head to toe with tattoos.

Advertisements

September 30, 2017

Empty Nest Syndrome: Be Careful What You Wish For

Filed under: children, Christianity, family, parenting — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:59 am

A full year in and I can tell you that Empty Nest Syndrome isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We’re knocking around in this great big house and I’m realizing that those empty rooms are not going to be occupied anytime soon, with the possible exception of a Christmas visit, and for one of our two boys, even that is partly in doubt.

Everyone kept saying, “Oh! You’re going to have the house to yourself!” I’m not sure what they’re thinking we would do by ourselves that we hadn’t already figured out a way to do when the kids were here. Well maybe this one: Save on groceries.

But we had experienced an empty nest before. My wife did a great job of fostering independence in our children, and a Christian summer camp played a big part in that (at first weeks, then a month on junior staff, and then full summers.) Of course, so did being away at college. In a sense, our birds vacated the nest a long, long time ago.

That doesn’t make it any easier. It’s very empty now, if you buy the logic that an empty glass can suddenly become more empty; there are few scenarios that would render those bedrooms reoccupied.

The older is an hour away. The youngest is two hours away. I miss the activity. I miss the conversations. I miss the quality of togetherness that you can’t get from online correspondence. Maybe I just need a hug.

Or maybe this is part of a natural cycle and just when things are really quiet, suddenly the kids reappear with grandchildren in tow.

So far there’s been no sign of that.

So the nest is empty.

And please don’t add a comment containing the word “downsizing.” I’m not quite ready for that.

Photos: Ruth Wilkinson

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.