You ever have those conversations when you are speaking to someone else, but really you are speaking to yourself?
i was given the gift of a child to rear. to show the way thru life. unfortunately i’m still learning to find my own way, so i’ve not been the best teacher. as i watch her struggle…i grieve. i grieve because i know the struggle intimately. i’ve not been able to spare her this struggle. in fact, in some ways i’ve taught her this struggle, i’ve been the source of the struggle.
‘do you ever wish i just wasn’t part of this family? i’m such a horrible person.’
and the words come up from within-somewhere deep-words that i heard just a couple of weeks ago, they aren’t my words, but they are mine to share….with her and with me.
“and what did Jesus declare about horrible people, what did He do for them?”
‘He died for their sins.’
it’s that mumbled rote Sunday School answer. it comes out as a low mumble, with no feeling, automatic and unimpacting. that’s so often how it comes up from within me too. it’s that ‘blah blah blah, don’t preach me a sermon-you’re not answering my question.’
and she’s right, that’s not the answer that’s being mined for tonight.
“well, yes, that’s part of it. but what i’m asking, is what did He declare to be true about horrible people?” (of which i’m one of them too you know)
blank stare, “i don’t know”
and me neither, not in the depth of my being-a knowing that really knows. but i’m learning to know it. and the answer comes out anyway-the answer i’m learning to know;
“he declared them worth it….wanted, treasured.”
we talk further into the night. the reason we are talking is because of sin-and the Spirit gives me more words for us-for both of us.
but the big take away is that we’ve been declared worth it, wanted, treasured.
i who have played my own part in the sin committed. that ugly dividing wretched sin. i who have not loved well, who have not communicated love well. i have failed time and time and time again. the parenting books out there-well meaning and well-principled as they are-cannot offer anything here. There is no solution for me to attempt; to answer….. what both of our hearts are asking. in our failure (which is inevitable while in this body of flesh) are we still wanted? How many times have i thought to myself, “boy, if only God had given them that mom, they would have all those benefits.”
i know my failures full well. and it’s no use arguing them away. i sin against my children and wound their hearts in the process. i hate it-these ones that i love so dearly. and the Spirit does give me victory and wisdom and insight so often as i call out “help, how do i respond to this!?!” He did that for me in this case as well. The beautiful thing in this case, is that as we went our separate ways, those words whispered to my heart as well. i pray that the Spirit will work this truth into her heart, into all of their hearts. that in the midst of our failure, we are blessed. We are wanted, worth it, treasured. By the One who spoke the universe into existence-and who has all things. Yet He wants me! me! even me!
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8