Pastoral Post 8.4.2016

My daughter Kari and her family arrived on Sunday evening after driving from Charlotte/Fort Mill by way of Tennessee. Well, Kari’s husband Mark realized before Tennessee that he had missed his turn, but never could tell me where exactly they turned around!

Monday afternoon Kari and Mark headed to Asheville for an overnight engagement and break from baby. Right after they left, my wife Susan headed out to an event of her own. Which meant 10-month-old Mercer and his Papa (that’s me!) were left on their own.

Mercer was very tired, but that little rascal fights sleep like it’s his worst enemy. Finally, I went into his room.....he was standing in his crib, whimpering, and about half asleep. When I picked him up, he laid his head on my shoulder. I sat down in the rocking chair. He was asleep in no time. Which presented me something of a dilemma: do I try to put him down, or will he wake up? And with babies, do you put them on their back or stomach? Which is it?  And at his age, does it matter? (I was told later it doesn’t.)

It didn’t take me long to realize that, on my day off, there is nothing I have more important to do than to hold my grandson for his nap. And so I sat, nearly falling asleep myself a time or two, but never quite doing so. After awhile Mercer squirmed a bit, and from time to time he continued to do so. But also from him occasionally came beautiful baby sounds.....cooing, sighing sounds of contentment.

I found myself wondering what I might learn from Mercer. We think of all that babies learn to get on in this world.....like walking and talking, for starters. I wonder if we sometimes are so busy teaching them “ball”.....”doggie”.....the cat says “Meow” that we don’t stop to learn what they might teach us.

I don’t remember where I heard the story of the parents who listened over the intercom to their son in his infant brother’s room saying something like this: “What do you remember? Can you tell me what you remember? I’ve forgotten.” Are there things we know as babies that we forget? Can we relearn them? What does it take to remember?

Mercer slept for 2 ½ hours. I’m not sure he was fully awake when I decided I could sit no longer. But he woke up content and we spent some serious play time.(Later in the evening, we had 2 ½ hours more play time!)

I’m pretty sure that there is a connection here to the story we read a few weeks ago of Mary and Martha. Remember, Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, doing nothing that looked productive to her sister Martha? In a world that values accomplishments, productivity,  performance, what does it mean to be still.....to listen?  Can our children and grandchildren teach us something about not succumbing to those pressures? I’m thinking that sitting quietly with a sleeping baby is about as close as one gets to God.

................................

For several weeks we’ve been reading along in Luke, pondering some wonderful passages. This Sunday our focus turns to that marvelous 11th chapter of Hebrews and the words, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.....” There we find “the honor roll of faith.” I encourage you to read through the chapter, even through 12:2.

We’ll visit the Lord’s table this Sunday, and as we come those words will be in our minds, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.....”

See you Sunday at the Faith place!

Sandy

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