Thursday, October 09, 2014
A tormented heart
Let me give you some examples of my recent madness:
Last night our 4-year old Leah was refusing to go into her Awana class. This has been becoming more and more commonplace for our little girl. She clung to mama like she would fall off a bridge if she let go. I was furious. And heartbroken. Two conflicting images you say? Well yes, I had them both in equal amounts, but at various times.
"Just go to your class!" I wanted to scream at her. "This is not optional you little &%*#&!!!"
"Oh honey, you've been so much lately" I wanted to whisper to her as I swooped her up and kissed her nose. "Just rest your head on papa's shoulder, let's go get some ice cream and just be together, of course you don't have to go to your class."
See my craziness? I don't know which is the better parent, nor which is the better response. I feel torn. God, help Leah love her bi-polar dad.
At the worldwide day of pray that Cru holds every year we were praying through God's promises. "Whatever you ask in my name" Jesus says, "Ask and it will be given you." He has promised, so He will stick to his promises.
Internally I went nuts. "Oh yeah? What about the hurting? What about the recipients of the ISIS/ISIL reign of terror? How come their prayers aren't answered?"
"But," I thought, "you really are faithful, father. And you're good. Perhaps I should just trust you to uphold your promise?"
"Good luck with that," my other half mocked. "A farmer prays for rain, while so many others pray for nice, clear weather; how can God possibly answer both of the prayers asked in his name?"
So, not only do I have no clue about how to respond to my little girl, but now I'm bumfuzzled about prayer.
We continued praying, and eventually we were asked to pray for our hurting world. Ebola, ISIS/ISIL, economic depravity, and a number of other things were brought to our attention. How could I be torn about praying for the hurting? Listen:
"This is great. I'm grateful to be in a room full of people asking God to intervene and help. Thank you, Lord."
I looked around, and my mood changed. My sarcastic and pessimistic voice took over. "Look at all the money in this room. Look at all these nice clothes, from these nice, cordial, upper-middle class people. Oh, boy, isn't it just grand of us rich people to pray for the lesser while we do nothing but sit on our hands. Isn't that just awesome."
Parenting, prayer, and the hypocrisy of christians (and myself) has me torn in half. And this list could be so so so much longer.
My suspicion is that I'm not alone here. Please comment and let me know I'm not alone. Or don't, I don't care. But really I do.