Monday, June 16, 2008

The Glory of Children

"Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers." Prov.17.6

I ran across this verse this morning and thought how evident this is in our family. There is nothing my dad enjoys more than his grandkids. And truly Sami's glory is her dad. I am blessed beyond words by my own amazing dad and Papa to my girls, and the dad my husband is to our daughters.

We had a great day yesterday at my parents'. Some friends came and spent the day with us, it was hot but not humid and we got to enjoy being outside all day. Like my dad, who is always able to enjoy the moment, says, "This side of Heaven, life can't get any better than this."

Speaking of dads I suppose it's fitting that my Time With Him this morning was related to a conversation with my dad yesterday:

It was a question related to hurt, as we sat around the table outside last night, me wondering aloud, again, how . . . well, just this:

Dad said that he's been studying Matthew and how around chapters 11 and 12 there is a shift in Jesus' ministry, as he has been rejected in chapter 11 and at the end of the chapter says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

So this is what he does with rejection. Meekness. Lowliness. Care of the suffering, relief of burdens, rest. He connects his hurt with hurting people, identifies himself with those who are weak, alone, oppressed. This helps me to know where to go with life's rejections. The choice, in these moments, is to become hard with self-protection, or to accept the hurt and allow it to make you weak. Hardness leads to bitterness. Weakness, in turn, leads to compassion. Our human tendency is to toughen up, to hide. Christ's example is the exact opposite. Grief is necessary. Heaviness connects us with Christ, and Christ is always connected to the humble, suffering, oppressed . . . He invites any willing to admit their weariness into Rest. Any willing to release their heavy burden are offered a new and easy yoke with Him . . . chapter 12 finds Jesus with his disciples in a field, plucking corn and eating it on the Sabbath. (The imagery of yoked oxen strikes here . . . but the yoke is no longer for labor. Now, yoked together with Christ, it is for feasting). Ah, but he is Lord even of the sabbath. This new yoke? Mercy, not sacrifice.
The invitation was there in Isaiah:
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. . . Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

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