Who Wouldn’t

So last week I wrote about Matthew and a $2.00 deal in Seriously Good. Towards the end of the post I wrote that I needed to write it down because I would need something to look back on to see progress when the going is rough. Little was I to know that would be the next day.

Ay de mi! Thursday night was a problem. At least I figured out that the massive meltdowns are almost guaranteed if there is company over at bedtime. (Looking for that sometimes elusive silver lining here…)

Friday came and went with only some tremors on the meltdown scale, but Saturday? Oy vey! Saturday was the BIG one. (Well, the most recent big one, they’re pretty familiar around these parts…imagine that.)

Both kids were told to pick up the yard and clean up some things off the porch they’d left out…dishes, broken umbrellas, bikes…the usual. Both were protesting (loudly, I might add) that THEY didn’t make the mess. Riiiiiight. Both got spanked. Meagan sulked and stomped, but did go out and start picking up. Matthew…not so much. All out fit. Screaming, throwing, name-calling, outright REFUSAL to do anything he was told. Period.

Anyway. I only mention this because the real story in this post would make no sense otherwise. See, during his terronical (new word…I kinda like it…it suits) tirade, I got a phone call from a friend. At some point in the conversation it came up that in searching far and wide, high and low, hither and thither for some explanation for his continued massive maniacal meltdowns, the question had come to mind, “Well is he saved?”.

Oh boy! the hours and hours and hours that boy and I have spent deep in theological conversation. Many spent on this very subject. We’ve covered things like “I’m too bad so maybe I wasn’t saved” to “Jesus won’t help me because He doesn’t love me” to “How can you be sure the spirit telling you you are saved is the Holy Spirit and not satan?”

Oh yes. We have talked, that child and I. Some most of the questions or issues he brings up that relate to theology or spirituality or Christianity or ______, I feel like I am HIGHLY unqualified to answer. I FEEL like telling him “How should I know? I’m not a preacher! I haven’t been to seminary! Why don’t you go ask so-and-so?” Thing is, the kid wants needs answers and comfort and reassurance right then…not at some scheduled point in the future. Also? The kid is shyer than shy about coming out and talking about the real stuff, if ya know what I mean.

So, I take a deep breath, murmur a little prayer for HELP!!! and plod on. I sincerely hope I’m not totally warping the kid by confusing the snot out of him. In all honesty I’m not TOO awful worried about that, though. Why not? Well, because the Lord will watch out for him better than I can anyway. I’ve asked the Lord to help me not mess things up with the kids when it comes to this kind of stuff, and He is faithful to help. Where’s the evidence? I think it’s right here–

Sunday afternoon, after Matthew had calmed back down (it generally takes at LEAST one overnight), he and I were conversing again. His good friend at church had just been baptized, and my heart stung a little. A couple of weeks prior, this little boy and my (not-so-little) boy had been talking after church and discovered they had BOTH been thinking about being baptized that night (the thinking part…not the baptizing part).

When he told me, “Hey Mom guess what? Me and ____ were both thinking about being baptized.” my heart went pitter patter and I had about 3 instantaneous thoughts…

  • YES! Thank you Jesus! (been in prayer for him to have the courage to be baptized for over a year now)
  • That’d be cool for them to do it together
  • What if this is just one of those “so-and-so is doing it, so I guess I will” things?

Soooo, we talked. Went back over baptism and what it is, so forth and so on. He was encouraged to think that maybe the two of them could be baptized the same night because then he would have someone in the changing room that he was comfortable around (remember the kid is superdy-super shy!). He was soooo hopeful they could go together. And then Mom has to come in and mess it up… I was concerned it would come across that he was only following and not sincerely ready to be baptized, so we left it at- in order that it would be clear to others that he was not just following the friend, he would trust Jesus to give him the courage to tell the pastor himself (instead of me doing it) before church one night. I told him I would most certainly go with him, but he had to do the talking and then we’d see what happened. If he was told ok, and given a date other than what his friend had…so be it.

I guess I messed up, because Wed night came…and went…and he said nothing. I had promised him I would not continually ask him about it, though, so I held my tongue. His little buddy didn’t get baptized the next Sunday either. Maybe it would still work out, I thought. Maybe Matthew would get the courage to step forward before it happened.

Not so. And so my heart swelled and stung as that little one was baptized. It was so wonderful to see, and yet I knew Matthew had just missed his opportunity to have a buddy with him at his baptism.

We got in the van afterwards and I told Matthew, “See what happens when you keep putting off for tomorrow what you should do today?” (Another something I’ve been attempting to get through the kids’ thick skulls…just take care of what you were told to do NOW instead of putting it off.)

The conversation continued at home. We talked again about how baptism was something we’re told to do, and how it is to show people that you’ve been saved…that a change was made in your heart. There was more that I don’t remember all of now, but it ended pretty much like this:

Me- “You know, when you act the way you do sometimes and just flat-out REFUSE to quit and start obeying again it can and does sometimes make people wonder if you really are saved. Of course, only you and God know for sure, but it does make people wonder.”

Matthew- “Mom,” in that teenagerly drawl…ya’ll know the one…the one that conveys duh, you are so dense and unknowing, how can you even ask me that? DUH “Mom,” he said, “do you think that if I knew about God and how to be saved I would be walking around not being saved?”

And then he turned and walked out of the room. I could almost feel and hear him shaking his head and sighing (he didn’t, but you know what I mean) “man she really is thick” .

We were looking for evidence that the Lord was going to keep me from messin’ the kids up totally, remember? (Yeah I was having a hard time remembering too, what with the sidetracked baptism story and all) Here we go.

We’re having a missions conference at church. Last night the preacher shared a story about a woman he’d shared the gospel with. He went through the whole plan of salvation, and then at the end he asked her if she would like to accept Jesus as her personal Savior. He said she looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said simply,

“Who wouldn’t?”

Not so very different from the sentiment Matthew shared with me just the day before. A preacher who’d been to seminary and who doubtless is MUCH better qualified and adept at explaining things and discussing things shared the plan and got that response. I, who am terrified of screwing it up, but plod on as best I can, stumbling over my words and thoughts, wondering if I’m making ANY sense or at least not causing more confusion… well by golly, look at that?! It got through not too horribly muddled after all! Not me, folks, that much is evident… my Jesus. =)

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