Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



God promised through Isaiah, "As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you...You will rejoice...You will flourish..."

While this causes profoundly pathological hiccups for the anthropomorphically challenged males in the kingdom, I've always known moms at their best are like God.

Moms wipe ___ from our butts without appropriately sustained appreciation just like God wipes ___ from our souls without appropriately sustained appreciation.


Dear Mom,

Counting time in the womb because God does, I'm closing in on 60; which means neither of us has as much time left as spent.

After preaching over 35 MD sermons and trying to enable appreciation and affection for other families, I confess a continuing ache/angst in my gut/spirit caused by not being there (home) because I'm here (church).

Though the occupational hazard of making the season bright for everybody else was explained to me long before ordination by our pastor The Rev. Harold F. Mante, I want you to know how much I have missed being with you and dad on Christmas Eve, Easter Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and all the rest. Begging our Lord's indulgence for the comparison, it's part of the cross which pastors carry after ordination to office.

Few congregants have ever acknowledged the sacrifice.

I'm not complaining or attempting to invoke pity or beg your forgiveness.

I'm just hurting again; because of what we've missed over the years.

I thank you for trying to understand and pretending it's been O.K.

I miss you; especially your unconditional love - ain't much of that around these days.

Repeatedly, the Bible compares parental love to our Father's love - loving us just as we are but too much to leave us just as we are.

I'll never forget Dwight White's confession over lunch during doctoral studies so many years ago, "Except for Jesus, moms and dads are God's greatest gifts. Nobody loves us as much as they do. When good things happen to us, nobody is happier. When bad things happen to us, nobody is sadder. Good, bad, or ugly, they never let go of us or run away from us. They live and die for our well-being without counting the cost."

I agree from my experience as your son.

Sadly, as a pastor, I've met some folks who haven't been as fortunate.

Those special days for moms and dads aren't nearly as festive for children who've been abused or abandoned without reconciliation before one or the other's last breath.

Few things have sobered me more than funerals scarred by unreconciled parent-child relationships.

I'm not suggesting I've always been God's "other" son for you.

God knows I've disappointed you on too many occasions despite your best preventive prayers and counsel; but I trust you know I've taken credit for my bad choices, given credit to you for the good ones, and thank Jesus for getting my act somewhat together before parting ways.

A friend's dad died several years ago. I've rarely witnessed such personal and professional paralysis. Though God's grace through the generosity of friends has helped him to rebound, I don't think he'll ever be the same.

That hit close to home after being so far from home for so long.

Surely, several of my dearest friends have gone home to Jesus over the years; and though thoughts are often saturated with remembrances and incarnational longings, my belief in their immortality and our ultimate reunion through Jesus have sustained my existential consolation and eternal hope.

Of course, I don't know how I'll react upon that dreaded inevitability; because nobody's place in my life can compare with our Father's place which Biblical revelation reports as best mirrored in parents.

So as Eric Felack said/warned as we strolled along the 18th fairway in another failed attempt to beat dad and sister in our favorite pastime, "Win or lose, I'd give anything to play one more round with my father. Love 'em while you've got 'em."

I do.

I'm going to share this with my sons and church because I can't think of anything more pastoral than provoking family appreciation and affection.

One more thing.

I worked really hard to be known as The ___.

I didn't do a thing to be your son.

After all these years, I've figured out which means more to you and me.

Blessings and Love, Bobby to you only!



Yeah, I know that's not a MD song.

But if you don't...


Blessings and Love!

No comments: