Monday, February 8, 2010
Through the Eyes of a Prodigal
As parents, it's our job to raise our kids and teach them the ways of life, the foundations of faith, and so many other things. It seems to me lately, though that I'm learning a lot through listening to my children.
I have one child whose faith is strong, although like anyone else she has her share of struggles, and through her I'm learning that many times I need to close my mouth and listen more (that one's a little difficult for me.) Then,I have one child who, at this point, well I just call him my prodigal...my handsome blue-eyed prodigal. It is through his eyes that I am learning just how so many unbelievers view those of us who profess to be Christians. See, my boy point blank asked me, "Why would I want to be a Christian? I treat people better than most Christians do." And the sad thing is, I had no answer. I simply told him, "Son, I'm proud of you, and I'm proud of the character that you've shown." That was a startling revelation to me as to how he's looking at things and why he's made some of the decisions he's made. See, he didn't arrive to where he is overnight. There was a combination of life circumstances, combined with personal choices that created the disbelief. No amount of scripture quoting and preaching from me or anyone else is going to change it. But seeing Jesus...Seeing his arms really reaching and His heart really loving through His people...That will, yes it will, one day, along with a move of the Holy Spirit; that will captivate his heart. His watchful eye is stopping first, on my doorstep. I am daily having to examine myself, and work on shortcomings that in themselves may be a hindrance to bringing my boy back home. I worry every time I get frustrated and lose my temper, or come across harsher than I mean to that I'm pushing him further and further away...so I pray for patience and I pray for longsuffering and wisdom in punishment and setting limits.
If it weren't for this stage in his life, maybe I never would have been convicted of some of the things I'm feeling such a strong conviction on now. So yes, my prodigal is growing my relationship with my Father and he doesn't even have a clue. You see, it is through him that I'm realizing how short I'm falling. It is through him, that I see how important it is for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus...to try to act more like Jesus and have more of a servant's heart, a heart of compassion.
Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Sometimes I believe I get so busy being a "Christian" that maybe I forget I was once a sinner, unforgiven myself.