Jeremiah 18: 1-6
Election posts are lighting up my Facebook feed. As the first Tuesday of November gets closer my reaction to each status is more passionate. I am tempted to argue my point and try to persuade or enlighten those who would disagree with me. How can I not have a strong opinion? Being named after Ronald Reagan's wife, it was either sink or swim with a brand like that in the 1980's.
I remember coming home from school in the fourth grade and announcing to my family that John F. Kennedy had been our country's finest president. My father almost swallowed his false teeth. I hadn't learned that in his house. The very next day he made me deliver a note to my teacher that read, "The Bay of Pigs??? "
Mortification at its finest.
That being said, I inherited my daddy's love of country, his passion, and his sharp tongue.
I grew up to become a pastor's wife and he might still be a preacher, if I hadn't crumbled.
I thought "politic-ing" was one of my obligations. You see, these little Baptist churches are set in their ways, good or bad....they are set. Having to sit through business meeting after business meeting and watch as the little old ladies took the cue from the deacon of the week whether to raise their hand to vote or not, literally rattled me to my core. I was convinced that if these church members knew what was just and right, things would turn around.
It wasn't long before two groups formed in these meetings, pro-pastor versus the preacher-eaters. Most of these gatherings were merely planned lynchings disguised by a covered dish luncheon. I tried so hard to support my husband. I stood up when I should have kept quiet. I kept records and held grudges. I was a full time politician...and I was desperate for the win.
The victories and losses took a toll, how could they not? For some, it may have been Sunday afternoon amusement. For us, it was everything.
After three years, I could take no more.
I realize now that I had it all wrong, painfully wrong. It was never God's plan for us to go there and change those people. He sent us there to serve them.
And there was service, in between the battles. Sweet moments that we will cherish forever. But I have to ask myself, "Would it have been different if I hadn't fought? If I had put my energy into just being Wayne's wife?'
Death by politics.
Death by politics.
Yesterday we were sitting on the sidelines of a youth football game when Sam said, "Mom, look over there, that's Bryan!" All I could see were twenty-five boys in bulky pads, wearing heavy helmets. "Mom, he's #65, do you see him?" I was squinting to make out his face when I found his smile. He didn't seem the least bit embarrassed when I went over there and hugged him in front of his whole team.
Bryan had been our neighbor. He showed up on our doorstep every afternoon, everyday. He and his twin sister were faithful friends to our kids. They came with us to VBS and the Fall Festival each year. They swam in our kitty pool, they helped us build our snowmen, they knocked on our door every Christmas day to show off their presents. Both Bryan and Brittani had prayed to receive Jesus in their hearts in our backyard.
We were too dense to see the forest for the trees. Honestly, I used to cuss under my breath when the door bell rang.
The day we moved moved away, deflated both spiritually and financially, that little boy stood in our front yard and cried.
Bryan represents the sweetest of sweet. I never had to convince him of anything, I just had to open up the door and let him in.
And that's exactly how I want our family to continue in the ministry, with the intention to serve. We don't have to beg the world to love Jesus. We don't have to be swept up in the emotional tides of politics. Being politically "right" doesn't save anyone. It's the feet washers that move mountains. When we believe in Christ so passionately that we are willing to risk our own comforts...the win will be inevitable.
I am one screwed up hunk of clay, completely marred. And I'm thankful, so very, very thankful that we rest in the Potter's hands.... and He's going to make something beautiful out of us!