Tom plopped down next to me on the hearth with a sigh. "Mom, Mrs. X got on to me a church this morning, said I was being disrespectful. What is her problem?"
"Well, what did she get on to you about?"
"She said she saw me pull Ben's hair, and that was 'inappropriate behavior' for church. I told her that's just what brothers do. It's, like, being affectionate,...but she didn't understand."
"Well, try to think about Mrs. X's perspective. Maybe your pulling Ben's hair was a distraction to her, and she thought it might be a distraction to others."
"Maybe she should concentrate more on the sermon, and quit focusing on the people in the pews."
"Either way, you need to be respectful of Mrs. X and of her concerns."
"Yeah, but then she said I was being disrespectful during the benediction. What's up with that?"
"What happened during the benediction that upset her?"
"Well, you know how some of the people at church sort of halfway raise their hands for the benediction? Kinda like they're having a ball tossed at them? Well, I thought, What's up with this? Don't be so namby-pamby, people...If the preacher is giving a blessing, reach for it like you want it!"
"Well, I raised my hands like this - (imagine Elvis or some rock star greeting a crowd of fans, arms straight up in a Power Vee)." Tom continued, "I thought, Man, I'm going to make myself a lightning rod for Jesus!"
"And Mrs. X....?"
"She said the way I stood and raised my hands was irreverent. Then Mr. X said that I needed to 'grow up'."
Funny thing is, I'd already heard this story, from Mrs. X's perspective, earlier that day. Mrs. X is a dear friend and a precious sister in Christ. I truly did appreciate her concern and her willingness to speak to one of my kids when she felt his behavior was out of line. As a parent of four teenagers, I need all the help and reinforcement I can get!
Funny thing is, after hearing Tom's lament, I know that Mrs. X read the 'outside' and got the 'inside' all wrong. She wasn't privy to Tom's heart. Which got me to thinking...this is tricky business, to struggle to 'grow up' in our faith and yet remain child-like.
Funny thing is, now I want to be a lightning rod for Jesus, too.
6 days ago