I was sketching this fellow and as usual, asked him to smile. He said, “When I was 15, my grandmother told me, ‘You do not have an attractive smile.'”
“I went 20 years without smiling.”
I said, “What a mean old lady. What a cruel thing to do to a kid.”
Parents and grandchildren get this wrong sometimes.
They have been known to shrink the self-worth in a child, perhaps from a wrong-headed conviction that it was their calling to drive the child to achievement rather than to encourage him or her in that direction.
I’m thinking of my friend Kathy.
“No one spoke to me at that church.”
“That’s an unfriendly church.”
“I’m never going back there again.”
We pastors have heard it all. Sometimes, it’s anonymous notes informing us that ours is a cold church, that not a single person spoke to them last Sunday. They will not be returning.
Usually, it’s hearsay. A visitor told a friend who passed it on to a neighbor who told one of our deacons.
Church visitors, it would appear, can be a troublesome lot. Always demanding to be greeted warmly, seeing that as their right and as the confirmation that ours is a church founded on the Rock and faithful to the Word.
I beg to differ.
“Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord” (Ephesians 5:21).
Some church leaders think “submission” applies only to “those other people.”
Leaders must submit also.
Submission can take many forms. It may mean to accept advice, to be teachable, to be willing to receive correction, and to follow your God-given shepherd. When necessary, it may mean to stand up like a man (figure of speech, ladies) and apologize.
I started this article on Monday, February 2, 2015, but never finished it. Today, Friday, October 2, 2015, I found it and decided to finish it.
We had my wife’s funeral today. She would have loved almost everything about it.
And may have, for all I know.
We have no idea what the “dead in Christ” know about what goes on here.
I’ve been home from the funeral 4 hours and had a nap, and am ready to live again, I suppose. (Note: Blogging is a form of therapy for me, clearly.)