Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

…and into the fiery pits of Hell.

At some point in my life (not soon, I imagine) my time in this world will be over and I will head home to be with my heavenly father. I have frequently imagined (start humming MercyMe here) what this might be like - knowing that my limited mortal brain cannot begin to conceive of its glory (but I’m sure chocolate is involved). All my mental pictures were recently replaced by a less pleasant scenario…

I arrive at the gates of heaven to be greeted by Jesus, a few choice angels and God Himself who is holding a DVD of my life in His hands. He pops it in the DVD player, but there’s really no point in watching it all, I lived it and He wrote it. We both know what’s on there – so just skip to the good stuff: The Blooper Tracks.

As He scrolls through Bonus Features to find the Blooper of choice and hits the play button, I look around to the ground below me to see if I’m standing on a trap door that leads straight to Hell, but attention is drawn back up to Jesus who is laughing so hard tears are running down His cheeks as we watched the clip below.

Yes, yes. I’m the parent who was out SHOPPING while my 12-year-old son sat in the front row as a shining example for Pastor Stokes as the future of the church. As I wrestled past the mortification (the horror, oh the horror) right through justification (I tithe, I serve, I’m there every Wednesday, do I really have to be at all 3 weekend services?) take a pit stop at guilt (what kind of message am I sending the kids, they’re here for all 3 weekend services, what a horrible model for them, I should be doing more) I was finally able to appreciate the humor.

My friend Tracey Dowdey (who is a pastor’s wife and has surely heard it all) said it was truly one of her favorite church moments of all time. Tracey’s words often make me feel all warm inside, but I'm afraid the flush of heat I feel is from the pits of hell this time.

Or perhaps those flames warming me from below are from the parent-sin-pride from hearing Pastor Stokes say such lovely things about my youngest angel and his heart for the Lord (yeah, yeah - if I hadn't been out shopping, I could have heard it all first hand instead of having several of my brothers and sisters in Christ call me after that service to tell me all about it and send me links to the webcast so I can watch it over and over again).

Thank God I’m saved, ‘cause I’m sure not perfect!

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Anonymous said...

... loved your thoughts, but after listening to pastor stokes i came away feeling that, rather than considering it to be a 'blooper' moment, i would have been pleased!

here was quinn, sitting in the front row at a service which mom and dad were not even attending, eager for the fellowship of the faithful and the word of god!!!
particularly touching to me... because i love you all so, was the pastor's familiarity with quinn and your family and the comnfort quinn obviously felt to be so open and honest with his answer! of all the gifts we give our children,
the gift of an extended christian family is so vitally important! be happy you have provided that for the boys... thru the grace of god. and how wonderful that your community there (as embodied in pastor stokes) sees that helping children to grow in their understanding of god is the key to sharing his good news!!

take care and god bless, we love you, mary

Anonymous said...

Ok, I laughed and I also KNOW that devil may care younger son of yours! How did he get caught in such a great was bound to happen at some time:-) It's a memory you'll be proud of later in life...........I think. I completely understand your situation given the time I spend at church in services and such.

Love and hugs to you and the family!


tracey said...

I really have heard it all, and this really is one of my favorite church moments of all time. : ) I know how faithfully you and Edward attend, that's why it was such a priceless moment. The one time you aren't serving or sitting in a service, this is the moment in time Quinn decides to be a shining example. Awesome. : )

Anonymous said...

I have learned that one of the greatest blessings I've experienced as a youth pastor is to watch teens decide to make their faith their own and be passionate about it. It truly is witnessing God and what He can in action. This was one of my proudest moments as a youth pastor, it was also good for others in the church to see.