whether i see you or not
you still are
whether i obey you or not
you still command
whether i love you or not
you still love
whether i heed you or not
you still speak
whether i seek you or not
you still seek
whether i praise you or not
you still glorify
From the time I first found out I was pregnant with Shep, I knew two things: that he was a boy, and that the Lord was calling him to something special for his Kingdom. The verse we printed on his birth announcement and had read at his baptism was I Samuel 1:27-28:
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer. He gave me this child. And now I give this child to the Lord. He will serve the Lord all his life.”
Verse 27 is lovely and sweet. Verse 28 has always scared the heck out of me. Giving your child to the Lord can mean anything. For Hannah, it meant sending her only son away when he was three. It's a dangerous prayer.
Lately, Shep has been asking hard, hard questions about his faith, and about the Jesus he has always loved, and the bible we have always poured into him. And he's been struggling with doubt. And he's gotten some ideas that maybe Christianity is silly and foolish contradicts science and reason. WhileWalker has said over and over that these questions are not only normal, but good, it's not normal or good to me - I have the gift of faith, a rare gift I realize, but one that means I have never, ever seriously doubted. So Shep's questions have made me very nervous, because my greatest fear is that one of my five children not know the Lord.
So a few months ago when I heard that apologist John Lennox was coming to speak at UT, I asked Shep if he wanted to go, and he said yes. I wasn't sure if he would like it, if it would be over his head, if he would be bored.
Hearing Lennox, professor of math at Oxford University, brilliant, winsome, yet so intimidating an apologist for the faith that the atheist physicist who was due to debate him flaked at the last minute, ignited my son in a way that I've never seen. And Shep begins to say things like "I want to be a bass playing apologist now."
Then after the talk, we ran into Andrew Coleman, and old, very dear friend of mine and Walker's, who is also one of the most brilliant people I know, who translated space manuals into Russian for NASA, and who is also such a winsome apologist for the faith. Who needed a place to sleep sometimes when he came up to Ratio Christi at Univ. of Texas Austin meetings. So last night Andy stayed with us and kept Shep up way past bedtime discussing why astronomy and physics and science and the bible are completely compatible. And Shep was elated and encouraged in his faith.
And I went to bed remembering that I gave my son to the Lord. And that the Lord is in charge of his destiny. And that the Lord knows the plans he has for Shepherd and knows exactly how he intends to accomplish them and is the author and perfecter of his faith and his sanctification, just like he told me 13 years ago when I felt him kick within me, just like he knew about 20 years ago when I first met Andy at Metro Bible Study in Houston.
And I'm so thankful for the encouragement that our sweet, sweet God sent to this momma's heart.
Eva: once I stole a bracelet from the lost & found at church, and you found it, and you made me bring it back and talk to the pastor about it. Me: and you never stole again, did you? Eva: Nope. At least, not from church.
I've started asking Shep to write mini essays regarding his various infractions...basically to give him an opportunity to reflect on "Why Not Coming Home For Dinner On Time Is Bogus". Here's his response. Like the smart ass line about how if he's not at dinner it's "ridiculously boring" and he is there to "lighten it up".