most people think my children
are perfect. straight a students.
deeply devoted to Jesus. soul
winners. life changers. you know.
but somehow, under will's and my
watch, we didn't get all the pieces
just right. missed things. even when
we thought we were doing our very
best because, next to Jesus, we
loved our four sons more than the
roar of the ocean or all the wonders
of the world. in an instant, we would
have given our lives for them.
one of my sons has come home a few
days early for thanksgiving. now under-
stand, my sons tell me things i'd NEVER
have told my parents. we are tight. the
five of us have fought wars together.
but tonight, in the car, my child started
crying. feeling so alone. no girl. the
guys he shares an apartment with have
both lost their jobs, so my son is left to
carry it all.
he's started smoking and doing weed.
it's so hard, mom, and no one respects
me and i do all the work. i'm so unappre-
ciated. feel so isolated. i go to the food bank
every day. they throw food from the truck,
and whatever you catch, you get to keep.
no one says 'thanks'...or offers to take
turns at my apartment.
despair began to roar in my head. my heart.
stark pain that made my bones feel
weak. my joy sheared by fear and dark-
ness. he is 21, and he feels the world
doesn't care, and he gravitates to anyone
who will embrace him. most of them lost
like he feels. most Christian parents
don't know, but i do. my sons simply
cannot keep secrets from me.
i know they have slept with girls.
Christian girls. having fun today is
to go to a bar, and have a few beers.
my children look perfect.
handsome. strong handshakes.
look you straight in the eyes.
are kind. give money to the poor.
they KNOW how i long for them
to go to church. but the church is
losing the fight for our children.
dreams aren't stirred and brushed
across their hearts, judgement
teases in every corner. not love.
my son came home with a mohawk.
oh, i'd told millions that we are to love
others. it is NOT about how anyone
looks. who they are, we can only change
the world with love. sweet, untarnished.
beautiful love. the strong arm of kindness.
of reminding others that God ONLY looks
at our hearts. period.
and my son walks in,
and he's needing me so much.
needing tenderness and embracement.
AND I FAILED!!
i was so scared.
what did this mean?
had he aligned himself with
a subculture so lonely....so
desperate...that he's lost himself?
he got his mohawk shaved off.
today, for me. and i failed.
i made his outward appearance
matter too much. oh, my son and i are
still tight. but if i had only thrown my
arms around him. kissed him, and told
him i noticed he had a new haircut.
joked about it.
i learned to REALLY pray
when i became a mother of
adolescents. flat on my face.
praying more for me than for
love. tip-toeing across the clouds.
not noticing externals. and even, knowing
things are maybe screwed up, we are
singing our love songs. knowing that
under all the appearances...are yearning,
lonely people. and we LOVE then.
running through a stream, a melody.
a choir. salvation's Song. the process