Live and Learn
This is a picture of what my sister-in-law, Gail, made me for Christmas (I know it's poorly taken, best I could do without a ladder in my condition, so hush). I love it so much. She found a great place for it in my home while she was here, in my entry way. She makes and decorates the crosses and the name plates, and she said mine should go at the top because I'm the head of my family now. I'd never thought of it like that, and it's all that more special to me because of it each time I look at it.
I also like how Casey and Charlie's names have so much in common. The scripture that accompanies Charlie's name plate , Joshua 1:9 (Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest) has always been one of my favorites and is something I remind myself of daily.
Y'all know there has been a lot of changes and some trying times going on in my home this past year. Some of the hardest for me is when I see it through the eyes of my kids. That's the toughest. Even though I try to shelter and cushion them from the harshness of what life has thrown at us lately, sometimes I see what it's done to them and it hurts. Breaks my heart, really, but I know that I can't keep them from seeing what's going on around them, and that it's all part of life and the learning process. However, as a loving parent, I just wish they didn't have to learn some things.
A few Sunday's ago at church we had communion and as they were passing it around, Charlie told me that he wasn't sure he should take it. When I asked him why, what he told me still tears at my heart. He said that he wasn't sure how he felt about God and being called a Christian anymore. Of course I asked him why, and he told me that it was because the people he'd always believed were strong Christians and claimed to love God so much had really hurt him, and he didn't know what he believed anymore. I asked him if he was talking about me, yeah...the 'me' mentality, but he said no and what he told me later...well, broke my heart.
And...then there is the thing with Casey and his car at Christian Brothers Automotive. I don't know if I told y'all this before, but the reason we took his car there in the first place was because when it was time for both of our cars to have their oil changed, Casey said he wanted to take his to Christian Brothers instead of where I've always taken our cars, to Goodyear in Allen, because he thought that as Christians we should support one another. Christian Brothers always has different scripture or biblical references out on their sign, and Casey looked them up on-line to see if they were Christian based. Well, their web site claims they are. Casey has learned a hard lesson this past month, and just like the lesson Charlie is learning, I wish I could have protected them both from what life teaches us in our own time...but even as a loving parent, you can't (and shouldn't) protect them from everything.
The lesson...people are people. Regardless of what label we may sew on to the shell of the person we are, whether we call ourselves Christians, believers, rich, poor, loving or kind... in time all will be revealed. In time, we can't help but reveal our true character. The only way to judge a person is by their fruit (their actions) and not by what label they pin to themselves. Sad, but true. There will be many that will deceive you, but it's important to not let the downfall or the the disappointment of others distract you from the way you should go.
Charlie took communion that Sunday, and I saved the cup that he drank from because it's the day that my baby chose to walk in his own light and not let the shadows others have cast keep him from doing so.
Casey...well, wisdom comes with experience, if you choose to learn from it. He has.