I had an uneventful drive to work yesterday morning. That is, until I sat at a stop light. I noticed the people behind me as I checked my rear-view mirror. I noticed them for three reasons.
Reason 1: Skin color, hair color, and facial features made it obvious they were family. Mother at the wheel, teen-age son riding shotgun.
Reason 2: They were not smiling. I could not read their lips, but their non-verbals were deafening. The pursed lips on the mom and the squint to her eyes told me she was angry. The boy looked down and when he looked back up, he just stared forward. The boy’s lips moved, they both stared forward. It almost looked like they were both taking in the moment, both longing to be elsewhere.
Reason 3: The short-lived silent moment ended when the mom sucker-punched her son in the left temple. Her lips moved and she gave him some more words. He didn’t flinch, he didn’t guard himself. Was he used to this behavior from his mom, or did he not expect it? His sad eyes shifted to stare out the passenger side window. I know that stare out the window; I have looked there myself during unpleasant car rides.
My jaw hit the floorboard. I tried to make it obvious I saw what she did as I physically turned around to look at them, but neither noticed me. My heart broke for the son. I have no idea what aggravated this assault, but it sure had me full of emotion.
My heart felt sucker-punched. I wanted to let this car pass me so I could follow them and find the place where the mom gets out of her car. I wanted to give her a piece of my mind. I even thought of more violent things I could do to her. Lucky for that mom, we were on a two-lane road with construction and I could not let them pass and I could not follow them.
I could not physically help that boy, but I was able to bring in the big guns and help him Spiritually. I prayed for him. That was all I could do, but it was more than anyone could do at that moment.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
When I was a little girl, the basement in the house where I grew up was probably one of the scariest places I had to go alone.
The basement was a large unfinished room with a heavy dark curtain dividing the space. I believed the curtain was in place to hide monsters that waited around for me when my mom or dad asked me to retrieve a canned good or roll of paper towel.
I proceeding with caution, each step down the stairs was made with as little noise as possible so the monsters would not wake up. I gently pulled the curtain aside and headed straight to the back storage room. To limit my time down there, I memorized what was on each shelf so I could be in and out like a race car driver making a pit stop.
Once the item I needed was in my clutch, I ran as fast as I could through the curtain and up the stairs, taking them two-at-a-time. Throughout my sprint I prayed silently over and over, “Please God, help me not to be scared”. Monsters know when kids are in their space and they know what a delicacy they are. Like veal, the young have such a juicy tenderness about them. I was in the monster’s space and they wanted to catch me and eat me.
This sprint and silent prayer for protection continued throughout my chilhood, even after the curtain came down when my parents finished the basement. I was certain the monsters were still living in the closets and rooms with newly installed doors.
My life was spared each time I had to go to the basement. I learned the importance of taking stairs two-at-a-time while praying the same prayer for protection. I was not eaten by monsters.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
The church I attend has been without a permanent Pastor for approximately two years. Our Bishop called Pastor Michael Kemper, who is a full-time Interim Pastor, to fill in and shepherd our flock.
After the entrance hymn, opening prayers, and before the readings, Pastor Mike invites the little children to join him on the steps to the altar to sit around him as he shares a story, on their level, based on the Bible readings for the day. Pastor Mike’s first children’s sermon was a little longer than our church family had ever heard. The second week, a little boy asked Pastor if he was going to tell them a long story again. Oh, such honesty. 🙂 As time pressed forward, Pastor Mike told his stories at whatever length was necessary to get the message across and I feel that no one, young or old, concerned themselves with a time limit as he is an engaging story-teller. My inner child would always run up to the altar, with the little children, to hear their special sermon.
Pastor Mike never gave a bad sermon to the adults either. Truly, I wish he would write books as I know he would be my favorite author.
On October 2, 2011, we will blot tears from our eyes as we wave good-bye to Pastor Mike and his lovely wife, Jane. The Bishop has a new assignment for our favorite Interim Pastor. My inner child is throwing a tantrum because I do not want him to leave. My adult self understands that people must pass through our lives as they serve God’s purpose for our growth as well as their own. If I feel this way about my Interim Pastor, just think how the people felt in the towns that Jesus passed through during his ministry. I hope our paths will cross again on this earth, but if not, I will look for Pastor Mike in heaven some day.
Pastor Mike, you have given our church stability at a time we felt broken, prayed for us when we could not, and shared your smile every time we saw you. Our congregation is blessed to have been under your leadership. I pray the church(es) you serve will realize you are a blessing from God.
I saw the hands clasped together as they walked across the busy street; a father and his child.
Half way across, the child let go and started to run for fear of the oncoming traffic while the father
kept his same pace and was not in any harm.
Isn’t that like us with God? We let go of His hand and run ahead in fear.
Why can’t we keep holdin’ on?
Isaiah 41:13 MSG
I, your God, have a firm
grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m
telling you, “Don’t panic. I’m right
here to help you.”