A Discerning Mother
I have finally started reading a book that I wanted to read a long time ago entitled Memoirs of An Ordinary Pastor, by D. A. Carson.I’m about one third of the way into it and have immensely enjoyed it so far.and it is really about his father Julie Carson also mentions times with his mother he talked about how she had great insight in many various areas both theological and personal. one story that stood out for me was when his sister Joyce had gone out with a friend and then they both came home to continue the conversation once the friend had left Joyce’s mother made this observation:
Mom mentioned to me how interested I can appear when the topic is important to me, but how I obviously tuned out my friend when she spoke of things that matter to her but that I didn’t care about. Although I resented her analysis at the time, I soon took a second look at what she said and realize that it was all too true. The memory of those words have helped me greatly over the years when I see myself reverting to this un-Christlike behavior.
This is an excellent observation that her mother made and was made with the best intentions. It was not made so as to harm the daughter but to help her. Nonetheless the words hurt yet the daughter wisely considered them and became wiser as a result.I thought about how this is also true in a church. There are those who are older in Christ and a function as the parents, if you will,of those who are younger in Christ. Those who are mature at times must speak words that hurt but if they are done out of love then they are good words. When the one who is younger in Christ receives those words as from a loving mother or father, though they may resent them at first, they will grow to see that they were good words and heed them.
It is a silly memory but I do remember a time as a pastor when we were doing a game night with the teens. One part of the night involved a scavenger hunt based off of riddles. I do not like scavenger hunts and I do not like riddles. Sometime near the end of the evening most of the teams had come together and it was obvious that my team was doing poorly. I made some smart-alec type of comment that these types of games are stupid, classic Matt Henry stupidity. Another man, an elder,look me straight in the eye and said that just because you don’t like these types of games doesn’t mean others find great enjoyment in them. A small rebuke but a good one and I had to go back to my team and a few others to seek forgiveness. It is funny because it has been at least 10 years since that event took place but I still remember it and am thankful for it.