So, an interesting thing happened at church the other night. We were there, Jake (14), Brooke(12) and I (30…. okay, okay, 40).
Now faith is something that my kids have been raised with, but Jake has become more private about it over the past few years.
We have had conversations about how normal it is to doubt and that any discussion is always welcome in this home, but he has shown little interest and even though I have wanted to push, I knew doing so would cause him to withdraw even more.
It wasn’t like he didn’t know the Bible; I mean the kid knows crazy stuff that I’ve never heard of. “Mom, did you know that there is this king in the Bible that is so big that when he is stabbed the sword gets lost in his belly, like it encompasses it?” Seriously? Are you sure?
But, knowing the Bible doesn’t mean you know the first thing about what it is like to have a living God that crashes into your life and overwhelm you with a love you have never experienced before.
So there we were last Sunday, just sitting in church.
He sometimes sings, but not often and I don’t say anything.
He sometimes doesn’t pay attention and I don’t say anything… but last night was different.
At the end of the service our pastor asked those who wanted to commit themselves to the Lord, to really make a change and start living for him, to stand. Now, you’re suppose to be keep your eyes shut, but honestly, I can never do that. My eyes just never want to stay shut, so I was just looking at the ground and out of the corner of my eye, I see Jake move on my left.
What! There is no freaking way. Like, no way. I jerk my head up just in time to see him stand tall, and then remember that I’m not suppose to be looking so I keep my head down. Seriously, who comes up with these rules! Nevertheless, I just sat there, thanking the Lord and reminding myself that God can actually work outside of me, that he doesn’t need me to do everything. Funny how we start to think that way, like our children wouldn’t grow closer to the Lord without me.
And then I felt the Lord getting my attention, a feeling welling up within. Seriously, Lord. I don’t need to stand. We are good, you and I. This is about Jake.
Dear one, what if I was calling you to recommit your vows, like marriage vows, with me. Would you do that?
I knew what I needed to do. So, up I went and as I did Brooke stood with me, almost simultaneously. This is nuts! I mean we are not the standing kinda family and there we were, the whole gang of us, just chilling in church- standing- each of us working it out with the Lord.
Now, as moms,we have a tendency to get a little carried away here, overwhelmed with love- a love for our kids- a love for our God- and the tears start flowing, you know what I mean. So, I thought to myself, if I start really blubbering over here the kids are going to be like, “What the heck mom, just relax. We are standing, not heading off to Africa.” So, I tried my best to contain it and act cool, like ya, you know, we are just that family that always stands up in church, nothin new going on here.
So there I was standing strategizing brainstorming, Okay, what am I going to say when the service ends? You’d think by now I would have learned that when I do this I really just get in the way of what God is doing. Led by his not-so gentle nudging I stopped. I took a deep breath and just let it be.
Inhale love. Exhale control.
As the time ended, I turned to the kids and with a calm voice that totally masked what was going on inside, I quietly suggested, Guys, there is prayer up front if either of you feels you want someone to pray with you.
Now, I know that sounds all nice, but inside I was freaking out, like I was a ballplayer, chomping at the bit to be put in the game, I can do this, Lord. Put me in! Let them pray with me! Me! Me! Tell me what’s going on. I wanna know the scoop. I can do this! I can listen well. I can say the right things and have the right verses to share! Me! Me!
But all Jake heard was silence.
My son, slowing nodded and headed toward the front to receive prayer for the first time- like, EVER.
When he comes back don’t say anything. Don’t’ ask him what he talked about. Just let him be.
Just love him without words right now and let Me work.
Love him without words.
He came back and I tried to act as normal as I could, though I am not very good at that anyways. I threw my arms around him and he hugged me tight. I planted a kiss on his cheek and said nothing.
Absolutely nothing. And you know what, dear sisters, that was all he needed.
I wonder what would happen, dear sisters, if we loved with out words every now and them. Sitting quietly next to a friend as she grieves the loss of a husband. Holding hands with a child as they jump up and down. Wrapping our arms around a sibling who is struggling through a divorce. Sitting quietly and letting God do the work.
You see, sometimes… sometimes loving without words leaves God room to speak.