Friday, June 26, 2009

On Letting Go


My firstborn son is now 18. Where has the time gone? In a couple of months, he is heading off to college. He will be on his own. May I confess something? It terrifies me.

Do You remember the prayers that I have prayed for him daily? There were different variations but they were more or less prayers for his safety. I had no clue what I was doing when we took him home from the hospital. I felt inadequate and overwhelmed. I still do some days. But somehow he managed to thrive and grow -- inspite of his inexperienced parents.

Can you stand one more prayer? It is this: may he fulfill the purpose You have in mind for him long before he was born.

I cannot go where he is going (although I had a dream the other night that I am enrolled in his English class). I cannot tell him what to do. Or more importantly, what NOT to do. I cannot protect him. But, Lord, I know You can. I hold on to Your promise that You will never leave him nor forsake him. There is no safer place for him to be than in Your care. He is his own person now.

Thank you Lord, for giving him to me. He is a wonderful son - kind, patient (must not be hereditary), funny, gentle and compassionate.
And now, Lord I give him back to you. I hope I have raised him to Your satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Obedience

Saturday morning I found myself in the middle of the Concourse. Looking into trashcans. In the rain.

What am I doing here?, I asked myself as I cautiously eyed a homeless man doing the same thing on the opposite side. Great, now, he thinks he has competition.

God brought me there.

The night before the place was teeming with freshly minted high school graduates and their proud parents. Leis of orchids. Balloons. A sea of purple robes amidst flashing lightbulbs.

We made it through the graduation ceremony. Pomp and Circumstance (I cried). His speech (I was nervous). The commencement speaker asked the boys to thank their parents. Son looked back, I caught his eye and we both smiled (I cried, yet again). I love my son and the connection we have.

When it was all over, he had to seek all his friends. He gave me the cards that were given to him from the time they exited to when we finally found him. Forty-five minutes it took to say goodbye to everyone.

When we got home, he opened the cards he received. But one was missing. He was sure that his grade school principal handed him an envelope. We could not find it. He also lost the "2009" pin from his tassel.

Which led me to Saturday morning. God put it in my heart to go back and look for the envelope and the pin.

Um, really, Lord? We have to get ready for his graduation party at 2:00 p.m. You want me to drive all the way downtown to look for an envelope and a pin?

How do you know when it's God and when you are just sleep deprived?

So I went. Found a parking meter and put my quarter in. It gave me 12 minutes.

I saw remnants of purple orchids, little pieces of paper, a new sweater (I know it's new because the tag from Ross was still there), lots of Starbucks cups but I did not find the envelope, nor the pin. I did find a brand new book on Quantum Mechanics on top of the trashcan. I took that with me thinking someone must have left it behind from last night. But why were they reading during a graduation ceremony? And Quantum Mechanics of all things.

As I was walking aimlessly from trashcan to trashcan I thought of Abraham when God asked him to leave his family and go to a place where He will lead him. Did Abraham have the same questions I had? Did he feel foolish like I did? Did he have to look through trashcans?

I don't know.

I also don't know why I went there that morning.

As I was heading out to the car, I saw a homeless woman a few feet away. She was securing something in her shopping cart. Should I? I was fearful but I approached her, took the $20 from my purse, handed it to her and said "God bless you." She said "God bless you" back and I walked away.

I had a minute left in the meter.