I love my children. I also embarrass easily. These two statements mean one thing. I’m often embarrassed by my children even though I adore them. Last night my middle child ran screaming through the church building for what seemed like the hundredth time. When I stopped him to “talk” about the issue he became very frustrated and began growling responses at me loudly. Normal parents may have understood this to be the typical behavior of an irritated five year old boy. None the less, I wanted to hide behind the rack of winter coats and let him stomp off to growl elsewhere.
There were people around to witness this encounter with my growling son, and I don’t know whether it was my mood or if it was the little monster that I was currently trying to contain but I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed because he was calling attention to himself and, in turn, me. I was embarrassed because once again he was racing through the sweet people who brave the weather and come to Wednesday night bible class. I realized then that I should face the fact that more indiscretions may come in my life and comparatively this is nothing.
I know another minister’s wife whose daughter became pregnant in high school. The whole congregation knew. The whole town knew. This minister’s wife was embarrassed. She placed a great deal of blame on herself and still does for her daughter’s actions. She was aware that the church was buzzing of the news. Regardless, she marched into worship time and again facing the stares, the unhelpful comments, the gossip, and even the accusations of guilt. She loved her daughter, but was wilting inside for the choices her daughter made.
Likewise, I know a mother whose son dealt with a drug addiction for years and years and was once hospitalized due to an overdose. She held her head high even though she was aching to save her son from the beast that had him by the ankle. She would have willingly taken on his addiction if it meant his freedom from it. She hurt everyday for him, worried every second, and yet she loved and smiled knowing God is in control.
There is something about being a parent that disallows us to completely differentiate from our children regardless of how hard we try. They are ours; our very flesh and blood. Our children have the ability to make up every joy and every sorrow that likewise make up our life. Being a parent truly allows one to begin to grasp the infinite and wondrous love of the creator, and even then we can’t reach the hem of his garment when it comes to comprehending it.
Our heavenly Father must have days where He looks at us and considers hiding in a coat closet. When I think of the choices I’ve made in the past, and the ones I make on a daily basis I wonder and wait for the day I get a notice in the mail that says…”No longer acceptable to enter heaven; name removed from list.”
Some days I can’t believe that He isn’t ashamed of us. Some days I sit in awe at the fact that He sacrificed and suffered humiliation for me even though I am a monster.
The bible says that while we acted ignorantly in unbelief, the grace of our Lord overflowed for us-- overflowed. And that Christ came into the world specifically to save sinners. He displays his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life (1 Timothy 1:13-16). He came for us, the monsters, the growling beasts making one bad choice after another. He isn’t embarrassed of this. This was the plan from the beginning: to get us out of here, to save us from ourselves. He is willing to save us just like the mommy walking into church facing the gossip; just like the mommy holding her head high facing her son’s addiction. He won’t ever ever give up on us.
May we ever try to make him proud of his children. May we continually thank him for his sacrifice.