Between a rock and a soft, squishy mattress
I fear for my children.
Especially for the one glancing boldly at me while completely unrolling the aluminum foil to make a ball.
But I do fear. Some days, the future I hope for them seems bleak indeed.
I’ve learned in my old age that if I stare at my phone screen for too long I go cross eyed for a while afterwards. I think old age and phone screens do not go together very well.
You’re dying to reprimand me for saying I’m old.
But I am. I am ever so old. I know because when I was young it was easy to live at my parents’ house. Now that I am old it is much more difficult. When I was young I used to draw crayon castles and dream big. I could ignore the news because it seemed far away, and jot down my ideas in a little pink diary. These days, I stare at my phone screen, reading the news, searching for a new house, typing blog ideas that never get to posting, messaging friends about difficult subjects, and wishing what I saw was more pleasant.
I used to think the government systems would work if you just did your civic duty and voted and used your respectful indoor voice. These days, the government wants money back that it “gave” to my disabled son.
They don’t believe he is disabled anymore. (Wouldn’t that be nice if he could just stop being paralyzed?)
They have loopholes written into law that say we are in breach of our mortgage contract for leaving our little house. They say we’re not “allowed” to not live there.
They say vote for the lesser of two evils, though even the lesser is ok with killing babies. And I am not.
The world seems backwards.
It seems I cannot put my hope in any man.
I will not put my hope in a nation.
I shall not put my hope in the next generation. I must not even put my hope in my own ability to raise the next generation. I will fail. I am fallible. So are they.
My country teeters on the edge of destruction by righteous judgement. Bureaucracy, loopholes, redtape and complacency rule the day. My tendency is to weep at the condition of the world my children are inheriting. I fear they will come of age in a time where they will be penalized by tax, or jail, or certainly at least social disgrace if they uphold any morality. I am afraid they could be pressed into military service against more just nations than our own. Doing the right thing will be very uncomfortable for my young men.
But I forget what I want most for my children.
It is not their security. (Though I crave it.)
It is not their health. (Though I pray for it.)
It is not their comfort. (Though I would give up my own if they could have it.)
What I want most for my children is to know their God.
To love Him. To accept His forgiveness. To be passionate for His truth. To be brave in hardship. To be bold in adversity. To be humble in the face of accusation. To claim unity with God rather than man.
I hate to think I may have to stand by helpless (or more likely, due to Mama bear instinct – to be held back kicking and screaming) as they face loss, condemnation, and searing pain from a heartless world.
But rather than watch them live out their days complacent and Godless while being safe and comfortable – rather – I pray they would live short, hard, painful, but meaningful lives walking with their Maker.
At least I try to pray that.
Make no mistake, I will fight for every inalienable right they should and could have. I will pour out my own energy for their own comfort and joy. I love to hear my kids laugh. It is the greatest sound I’ve ever known.
But if through their tears – and my own – they learn their greatest joy is the glory of God – than I prefer that to any comfort or legal right.
It’s not my job to change the world. We have been called to do a far harder thing. I must live a changed life in an unchanged world.
It does seem backwards. But I serve the God who said the poor will be rich. The weak will be strong. The humble made great. The simple made wise.
And when I look at my phone screen (or any screen) I forget the backwards kingdom. That’s when the world seems so topsy turvy. Because it is.
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:32, 34
God help me, as I find a use for crumpled aluminum foil, to fear not.