It’s been a rough couple of days over here on this train line.
This is not going to be a “Churchy” post but I need to set the stage.
I’ve been struggling for several years now with where religion fits into my life. I grew up in a very religious household. Like, I was raised by a pastors daughter religious. I do believe that there are good lessons that can be learned from the Bible. I believe that religion can set a good moral ground to walk on. I have a problem with extremists and all the bad things that are done and all the hate that is spread in the name of religion. I have a hard time holding onto blind faith when something bad happens to who, I think, are good people. Bottom line is that I haven’t been very good about going to Church on a regular basis. Probably not even what would be considered an irregular basis.
A couple days ago I decided to read a Bible lesson from a daily Bible study book that I get as a gift every year from my Grand Aunt. It just so happened that the page I turned to was titled “Why Suffer?” The author gave his interpretation/explanation for why people go through hard times. Some of the explanations offered were that suffering:
1. Helps us to understand our interdependence on other people.
2. Show’s us the distinction between necessities and luxuries. (That’s a good one)
3. Is necessary to bring some people back into the fold since they go to God out of desperation. (OK this has got to be a sign).
The next day was Sunday and Fathers Day so why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone and go to Church with the boys which gives CC a little break? Right? Right.
The service was fine. No problems there. The kids had their own little area to play with the other children (which all happened to be boys ages 2 – 5 that day). (Winning!) After the service there was a coffee hour/used book sale in the Church hall where the adults mingled and the kids ran a little crazy. Still all was fine. THEN, Jay spotted a Blues Clues VHS and decided he needed to have it. He doesn’t even usually like Blues Clues but that VHS he had to have. (I’ll never understand him, but that’s for another post). I told him he couldn’t have it and that’s when all hell broke loose. Crying, screaming you name it. An older man (70’s or 80’s) yelled at Jay to stop crying and then turned to me and yelled at me to get him out of there. I (not yelling but with some attitude) said to him “can you give us a minute?” I tried to use all my usual tricks to calm Jay down and get control of the situation. Everything I did just made it worse. I then decided to just pick him up, get Ace (who is still running around with the other kids) and make my way out of there. Well, I didn’t move quickly enough because old dude started yelling at us again in front of everyone. “I TOLD YOU BEFORE BUT YOU’RE STILL HERE. GET HIM OUT OF HERE. THE NOISE IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I CAN’T TAKE IT. JUST GO. GO. GO!!!” I lost my cool and started yelling back at him that he was a miserable old man and that he should have some kind of understanding after all this is a Church and that my son has a disability and I’m trying my best. I burst into tears somewhere in the middle of that sentence and a couple of Church members came to me and tried to tell me not to let old dude get me so upset and that I should calm down and not drive home while in such a state. I turned my anger and frustration on them and told them that I’m not the one they should be talking to. Instead they should be telling old dude not to yell at children who can’t help themselves. I finally got my hands on both kids and left (still crying). I got home and as soon as I started to tell CC the story well you know … the tears came again.
CC was so mad that he made us all get back in the car and go back to the Church so he could “have a talk” with old dude. I was opposed but there was no changing CC’s mind. We found old dude outside smoking and CC very sternly told him that he should never yell at other people’s wives and children and that if he had a problem with the crying he should have left etc etc etc. (I was proud that there was no cursing during his rant). He then made old dude apologize to me and Jay and we went home.
The rest of the day was not much more pleasant as Jay was just in a foul, rancid, stinky, poopy (you get it) mood all day but as the day wound down and we got the kids to bed I started to think about old dude in a different light. I started to feel bad about CC getting confrontational with him. I mean, I so want Jay and Ace to grow up in a patient, tolerant world but we were not very tolerant of old dude. What if he had his own issues (mental or neurological or other) and he wasn’t just being miserable?
That evening, I watched Extreme Home MakeOver. Always a tear bringer for me. I started to think about how lucky we are that we have clean water to drink and we just know it’s gonna be there when we turn on the tap. (They were doing a story on Haiti and the devastation that the earthquake had brought). The night wore on and the next thing I knew it was time for the 10 o’clock news. I realized, yes, I do know where my children are. They are safe and sound in dream land in their warm beds and with full tummies. I also know where my husband is. He’s here with us and he’s safe and warm and my children have him nearby all the time to fight for them when he feels they’ve been attacked. So while it wasn’t the happiest Fathers Day … I still went to bed feeling like it was a blessed Fathers Day.
As far as church goes, I still have doubts and questions and all that but I’m trying to have a kinder heart and to think more positive thoughts. (It’s so hard)
The next day (today) I accompanied both boys on a school field trip and well … that too is for another post.