Not every lesson my mother tried to teach me went the way she planned. One such time happened when I was about 15 years old. Mom called my little sister, Mary (who was 12 at the time), and I into the room and told us to sit down…she wanted to have a talk with us. I remember vividly, my mind racing back and forth, wondering what in the world she wanted to talk to us about. Had something happened? Was someone sick? What is going on? It was a bit odd to say the least.
One of my favorite stories to share with my history students in class has always been that of the Prussian ruler, Frederick the Great. Frederick ruled in the 1700s. He didn’t have a good relationship with his father. I like to tell this story because a lot of teenagers can relate to difficult times in their relationships with their own fathers. It also helps me connect with them the fact that they cannot blame their behavior on their past. Regardless of the circumstances in which they were raised, or of any event they may have experienced, the decision is theirs, and theirs alone, how they behave. They are 100% responsible for their actions. End. Of. Story.
More than 15 years ago now, I spent many days in a hospital room taking care of my mother when her time on earth was coming to an end. I slept in the bed beside her, fed her, bathed her, washed her hair, helped her brush her teeth, massaged her neck, talked to her, watched over her, and tried to comfort her during her pain and confusion. The emotions we all experienced during this time ran the gamut. My mother had not gone into this hospital to die. It was just another step in the process of getting her better, or so we thought. None of us, me or my three siblings, misunderstood the severity of the cancer that ravaged her body. Yet we were slow to accept the truth about how little time she had left. The reality of that fact would weigh heavier on me than anything I had ever faced before. So heavy, I all but crumbled beneath it.
This past summer, my husband and I went on a little vacation, and by that I mean I went with him to work for a few days. He travels a lot with his job. We spent a couple of those days in Kansas City and were able to attend a Royals baseball game. We hadn’t been anywhere in quite a while, and even though it was a “working holiday”, I was pretty excited about getting to spend time with my husband and laying out at the hotel pool while he worked. The day we departed, he asked if there was anything particular I wanted to do while we were in Kansas City. I had been wanting to go to the IKEA that had opened there for a while so I told him about that. He didn’t really know what IKEA was and thought this was a questionable request. No more was said about IKEA for the next two days, and I figured by his dismissive response earlier that we would not be making a visit.
Christ was sent from God to Earth
A plan, a prophesy, a promise from birth
He bridged a gap from old to new
He brought a covenant from God that’s true
A promise to all who would believe
The Son of God should be received
Eternal life, a life to serve
Straight and narrow is what God deserves
The blind to see, a leper healed
Forgiveness, Love, is Christ revealed
A sacrifice, no other way
Nailed to the cross, my sin is paid