G'ampa C's Blog

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pray for Grace (Nancy)

Preacher Mike's blog over the whole Rubel interview is really remarkable. Over 100 comments and counting.
What is it about us that makes the whole issue so shocking? It wasn't fair, she was rude and hateful, she had an agenda, she used inuendo and insult to her best advantage. Doesn't it seem like we need to get even, to get in the last word, to give her a dig so sharp she can't give a snappy response? Doesn't she deserve a good slap in the face?
On second thought.....
Doesn't it say something else? Congratulations, Rubel!!!! Praise the Lord above!!!!
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
"You have heard that it was said 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' but I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN."

Hmmmm. Love my enemy...pray for those who persecute me... so I can be a SON of GOD.
What change do I need to make in my life so that my natural response to an insult is kindness? What attitude adjustment do I need so that I automatically want to pray for those who are hateful?
God is calling us, even welcoming us, I think, to come and sit at the grown-up table. Come up to a plane of existence where our precious egos become meaningless, where we don't need to get a word in at all, let alone the last word. Where becoming a Son of God is EVERYTHING and getting even has no value.
Nancy Grace has provided the response to Cristianity that Jesus predicted. I should not be shocked or angry or even upset. My response should be to pray for her, that she would come to know the Jesus who has set me free. That she will be allowed to find peace in the Lord. Like the rest of our enemies, that she would be blessed with a knowledge of God that will bring her to the grown-up table, the table of grace.
Lord, help us to desire life at the grown-up table, and show us how to want our enemies there with us.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

On being a grandfather

In a few months, Lord willing, my oldest daughter will give birth to a baby girl. I guess God has been preparing me for that for years. When she (my daughter) was a baby, I started working in the church nursery, partly because I enjoyed it and partly to duck church services from time to time. My faith and commitment were shallow to say the least. Slowly but surely I began to see the love in those little eyes. I made friends with the babies and found that they loved me without reservation. How strange that was. Sometimes I was a surrogate dad to babies with no fathers at home. Sometimes a baby came in upset and needed a familiar face. Many, many times I would calm a crying baby just by holding her or him. Now, some 24 years later, I can look back and see the hand of Jesus in my experiences, tugging and pushing and touching. I am a different man now, and it started in the nursery. The love I shared with babies was the mirror of God's love. Not that I am able to love like God does, but that I felt a bond of caring and nurturing that made me want to protect them and care for them, even though they were helpless and sometimes very difficult. God so loves us that he gave his baby, his only baby, to make us whole. Now I can see something of what his love means.
What I want for my grandchildren, and the many other babies and children I touch from time to time, is that they will know who Jesus is through me.
I was given the name G'ampa C by a child who used to meet in our family group on Sunday nights. He had a G'ampa Steve who kind of looked like me, glasses, red beard, etc. He was only three and no one knew how he arrived at it, but it stuck. Their family has moved to Arkansas, and the parents of the two most recent additions to our "family" think of me as G'ampa C.
What a blessing it will be to try to love my grandchildren so much that they will know instinctively something of what Jesus is like. I guess God has been getting me ready for a long time. Wish I had listened better when my children were babies.