Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Hurt of the Unknown

My son started school today.  For the past couple years I’ve looked forward to this day.  I work mostly out of our home, so free babysitting for 8 hours a day sounds slightly more than wonderful.

And yet, as I watched from our apartment balcony him walking away with my wife, a heaviness fell upon me.

I’m hurting.  My little boy has begun school.
I won’t be there to speak into every time he feels hurt, confused, or scared.
I won’t be there to tell him he’s tough.
I won’t even know the first time he feels lost and insecure.
I won’t know the moment he first feels betrayal.
I won’t be there to explain when he sees injustice.

I’ve never wanted to live our lives in such a way that my kids won’t fall down and hurt themselves.  I just want to be the first one there to pick them up.

But there’s more to it than that.  I know every parent goes through emotion and pain when kids reach milestones, start school, move out, and so forth.  I don’t mean to demean any of that, it’s all very real and quite difficult.  But we threw another variable in.  While my son’s in school, I won’t have a clue what’s going on there.  We are living in a foreign land, and he is attending a national school, and I know absolutely nothing about it.  I never had anything remotely close to the experiences that he’s about to have.  I never had classmates who speak a different heart language than myself.  I can’t relate to an urban childhood, a socialized system, a culture of ‘no’, and a knowledge-based education.  I don’t even know yet the terms he’ll learn for learning.  I definitely won’t know the words he learns from the other kids in a few years...

Isn’t it nice to know that God’s not a father like me?  Unable to relate?  Not him.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

Maybe God hurt on that day like I do now, probably worse.  But in so doing He positioned himself to be able to relate to us.  We don’t pray to a God that can pick us up and rub our boo-boos but doesn’t understand our pain.  We pray to a God that has walked this earth and experienced these struggles and knows EXACTLY what we’re feeling, thinking, and doubting.  God’s not blind to our experiences 8 hours a day.  When Jesus came to earth, so too did the Father.  And through those experiences, he’s just like the big brother I hope my son will one day be to his baby sister when she’s lost and hurting in school.  “I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. Here, let me show you the way forward.”

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).


Dan and Pam Johnson said...

So touching and insightful. I know Sawyer will do great because he has had some wonderful teaching from his mom and dad.

Ashlee said...

Praying for you guys! I can imagine how hard this must be but I'm happy to see God is using it to show you more about Himself. May Sawyer be light in his school!

Michael & Joe Joe said...

Thanks a lot Dan and Pam and Ashlee.
D&P - so encouraging, thanks for the vote of confidence!
Ash - right on, we totally agree!