7 Aug 2014

We cannot get the Big Picture -- and it's okay...

We all like to know 'why'.
It stands to reason as we are creatures of reason.
Some of us are happy with a big picture; others need a lot more detail, so social scientists tell us.

Well, I for one am generally happy to begin moving in a direction once I know where the arrow points. But, with some things, details are necessary.... like needing some sign that your kid is really, actually studying, not just being told , "don't worry mom, I'm studying!". Right?

But sometimes, we simply won't get the Big, whole picture no matter how hard to strain to. This is how I found out recently.

My 14 yr old shared with us this year that she feels she is ready for baptism. As pastor-parents, we are delighted! But I must admit that my delight is tainted with some concern. Does she really understand? Is she really ready? I must admit that I agree with a fellow parent here: some of this concern is troubling as what it really reflects may be self-concern that we have done a good job as parents! Ouch!

The sleuth in me began to set to work. What has led up to this point?
You see, my daughter has an extremely questioning mind. When she was six, sitting in the sofa reading something, she suddenly looked up and said out loud, "Isn't it God's fault since He put the tree in the garden in the first place?". This is the first of a long barrage of questions that came, and with each year, they also became laced with a sheen of skepticism.

And then, clear as sky, I could see she no longer read her Bible or prayed. It was painful.

Well, we had spots of light -
she kept asking
she talked and debated with us (rather than turn away)

So yes, I wanted to trace what led to this amazing tipping point.

It wasn't difficult as they were all in the journals of my heart: the moment several years ago I felt God said to "fight for her destiny" and it quickened me to pray and continue creating a home where the spiritual is weaved real into everything and everyday. And then an event or two plus heart conversations... with a river of tears and prayers (mine and several dear fellow-moms) flowing beneath it all....

This is my version of what led to Baptism.

Then, during the service, she went up and gave her testimony. It began, "Hi, I am ...14..and the daughter of not one, but two pastors" to knowing laughter around us. This is all the mention we get by-the-way (the Ouch).

She then goes on to describe what led to this point; and guess what? Her story and mine doesn't fit! Not even an overlap in parts!

I thought God worked and met her in certain ways.
She talked about how God met her in other ways.

I felt a Holy Laugh.

I get it the next morning. My sleuth work isn't bad. It's just what I saw and felt meaningful. Her story is honest. It's what's real to her. And I get it: we cannot get the Big Picture of what God is up to sometimes. But we each have a sliver of it and it is enough for us to take the next step.

Yet moments like these - when we know what we know isn't all there is to know -- well, we bow and give thanks; for that's all we can do!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are you ways my ways", 
declares the LORD ~ Isaiah 55v8 

As the Psalmist reminds us,
Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
or fully declare his praise?
Psalm 106v2 {emphasis mine}

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