Sunday, July 31, 2005

Worries Around the Family Table

"The body of Jesus Christ, broken for you, take and eat."

I said these words over and over as people walked to the Table to receive the Sacrament.

Some people take just a tiny crumb from the loaf of bread and dip it gently into the wine. It is as if they are afraid to come to close to the sacred. "We are unworthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table," will be the words of the prayer I will use at the end of the Sacrament, and it is as if these are people who know too well their unworthiness.

Others will come and take a large chunk of the bread and drench the bread with wine from the chalice. It is as if they are starving for spiritual food.

My son comes through the line. There are three elders with me serving the Sacrament, each holding one half of a broken loaf, or holding a chalice of wine.

He comes and takes the bread.

It is a tiny piece.

"The body of Jesus Christ, broken for you, take and eat."

He does not look at me as he takes the bread, and he moves onto the elder next to me to dip the bread into the wine.

He was in tears when we drove up to the church. I know it is a difficult thing for him to do, to cry in front of his father. being a teeanger is such a difficult time. And like many of the things that overwhelm him, it was such a small thing.

I had been waiting for almost two weeks to share some advice with him. On the way to church the opportunity finally presented itself. But the gulf between an adult and a teenage child is so vast. He has no idea how much I understand what he is going through. Soft words of counsel sound to him like harsh words of criticism. I know that he is not stupid, but I also know that he lacks wisdom and experience. These will come only with pain and suffering.

It would be a lot easier if he would listen.

But he won't.

Growing up takes time. No matter how much others around want to help, it is something one must do at one's own pace, and along one's own unique path.

My son attended the first service, and then disappeared for the day. His absence worries me throughout the other services.

Throughout the morning, people chat with me about their lives.

Anne says her daughter's pregnancy is not going well. She is dehydrated and ill, and eating poorly.

The Bakers have bought a new house and asked me to conduct a blessing on their home.

The Conners have brought their 14 year old nephew into their home. He was being used by his guardian as free labor in an abusive setting until the boy almost committed suicide. Now they are going to become the legal guardians.

Don is having some difficulties with Jessie as the family adjusts to Don's divorce.

The Eastwood family came and asked me to conduct a baptism for their child.

Fran tells me that her father will not be going to the Senior's feast, and he probably needs to go.

Grace is offering me and Ginny tickets to the opera later this month.

Hannah was not in church, but her mother tells me she is doing very poorly.

I conducted a new members class between services.

My son and wife and I watched a game on television during the afternoon.

I attended the the youth program in the evening.

In the evening, I sat at the dinner table with the family and ate more than I should have, wondering what my choice of food was doing to my diabetes.

So many concerns, but the one who concerns me most is the boy.

9 Comments:

Blogger Grace said...

Hello,

Thank you for your props!! If you don't mind me asking, where did you run into my site?

1:44 AM  
Blogger Maryellen said...

I don't know many Prebyterian Ministers, I liked your profile and enjoyed your post. Years and years ago my husband was called into the ministry. At that time I thought the life a head of me would read something like yours. Or kind of like an episode of "Seventh Heaven". Instead it reads like something written by Stephen King or Frank Peretti.
I'm 53 and I'm tired and I'm losing hope. I'm more into whining than anything else. But your post was somehow like a breath of Fresh Air. Like maybe out there somewhere there are real churches and real pastors and more importantly, real Christians who are more concerned with Loving God and Loving others than they are with theology and doctrine.

8:16 AM  
Blogger bridget said...

Thank you for visiting my site. All are welcome from all faiths. As the mother of 7 - 5 boys and 2 girls, you KNOW I know exactly how you were feeling this day!! I have 4 teens right now and one of them is a real handful. We've been in police stations, courts, with social workers, drug tests, etc...... and he is the one that I worry about the most. Many days my mind is only on the latest problem he is having. Which is so wrong because the others are good kids and deserve some praises and attention for being good! My latest problem with him is a girlfriend and all that entails - sexual sins. The rest has kind of faded - maybe lost its appeal.
Hang in there Apostle John.
This too shall pass......

10:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

As long as a teenager can feel guilt, there's still hope. (very Presbyterian of me, huh? lol)

1:05 PM  
Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

Hang in there, Dad. You will reap a reward for your faithfulness with your son in the years to come.

2:48 PM  
Blogger WES ELLIS said...

great post, I will enjoy reading future posts.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous KC said...

We also wonder about our boy as he is away this weekend for his first ever scout camp. Thanks for th epost. Somehow they manage and the spirit of God watches, listens, and moves as he chooses in our kids lives. Thanks for the post.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can identify with your pain of raising teens. I have two boys, now 31 and 33, both with families and doing quite nicely. But through the teen years, you would think one had been sent from heaven and one from hell. The one from hell, the younger one, is innately smarter than the other, and the older one is now an electrical engineer. The hellish one is running his own home remodeling business. In spite of all the crap he put us through, we all love him, while not completely trusting him. I am sure yours will grow through the pain of the teen years and retDonurn to the loving son you know. Don't give up.

Don

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you listed under nudists and naturists??

12:44 PM  

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