Church

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attending church continues to be a labor of love for me. Sometimes I leave feeling uplifted, but more often than not, I leave feeling lonely.

I know that my experience at church should be focused on God- the whole reason we go- but it is easy to get sidetracked when some perfect family out of the pages of LLBe.an sits right in front of you and their baby is the cutest thing you ever saw. I try to concentrate on hearing what God would have me hear, instead of wishing I was the one taking my toddler out to go to the bathroom.

But it's tough. On normal Sunday's.

And then there are extraordinary Sunday's like yesterday when I left in such a disappointed fog that I couldn't even believe it.

Some background, there is this family at church with whom I'm acquainted through a mutual friend (who also has 5 kids), and they have 5 kids. I know that one of them- their young son- is quite a handful.

So the father of those kids gets up at the end of the service and asking the men of the congregation to commit to being men of prayer and opportunities for them to live out being prayerful men. He says "In prayer, I discovered that I was meant to be a married man, and now I've been blessed with 5 kids. Well, 4 kids and one cross- my three year old."

WHAT?!?!?!?!?


I could barely believe my ears. I could not believe that this man, in front of all of us, called his PRECIOUS CHILD a cross!!! Just because he is less perfectly-behaved than their other kids!! I was so sad. Sad for the son, sad for the father, and sad for me.

I'd like to see him take on my cross for a while. See how it would feel to sit in church- which is already nearly unbearable in the presence of all the other fruitful families- and have someone make a joke about how their fiesty three year old is a cross. See how it would feel to pray for a baby for THREE YEARS with not so much as the slightest nod from heaven. See how it would feel to feel like an unaccepted member of society because you have no children.

I know those of us who struggle with infertility are acutely aware of this cross of ours. And I know (imagine) that if you have 4 perfect children and then you have a son who gets into alot of mischief, it might seem like a cross. But let's be clear. It is his behavior that is the cross, perhaps. Not the boy himself. To call him a cross, especially in public, especially in CHURCH, is degrading and irrerevant and ungrateful, in my humble infertile opinion.

I emailed my friend of my incredible hurt, and she has responded with the utmost compassion and gentleness. And as all of us do, we learn to bounce back from these heart wrenching situations.

Maybe church won't be such a hard place to go, someday.

9 comments:

Coco said...

My blood pressure just rose 30 points. SERIOUSLY! What the hell is wrong with people!?! Aside from everything else that is obviously wrong and ungrateful and douchey about the situation... how is that effecting that poor little boy's self esteem, sense of worth, and future? Un-freakin-believable. That's plain ole abusive. Maybe he misbehaves BECAUSE he gets that type of re-inforcement and messages at home. I am SO irrate. That poor little guy. I just want to go and shake his father and smack some sense into him. Infertility aside, I can't stand to see a child's God given protector betray that trust by choosing to do harm instead. Grrrr. I could go on and on, but it's already a long rant. *grumble grumble grumble.*

the misfit said...

I'm not sure I'm offended as an infertile (I think because at some reflex level I assume that all fertile people are stupid - hmm...), but I'm definitely offended as a Christian. How does his pastor let him get up there to make an announcement and let him get away with dehumanizing his child and demeaning the gifts of God? To say nothing of the kid hearing it. Every person we love presents crosses for us sometimes, but if I'm that kid (even at three) I'm hearing that there are four kids his father loves and one he doesn't. I know lots of adults who grew up with a conviction (of which their parents were often unaware) that they were the unloved, unwanted, or disappointing child. Most of the parents would have moved mountains to make sure that their kids never felt that way, had they known. Where is this guy's mind?

lowfatlady said...

Was he joking? I sure hope so. I can't believe he stood up there in front of everyone and said that! Some people!

Lindsey said...

I cannot believe that. It really grates on me when people complain about such an incredible blessing. They just really don't realize how hard it is to NOT have kids.

Erica said...

That's terrible and sad. Even if he felt frustrated with his child's behavior at that moment, that's certainly not the way to deal with it. I'm sorry church is so challenging overall. It is for me too, for different reasons. I relate to the struggle of trying to stay focused on God in the midst of trying to cope with other issues that are brought up by just being there. Thanks for sharing so openly...

JC said...

I have a REALLY hard time going to church these days too. Well for the past 2 years really. It's very difficult. I'm sorry you had to witness what that man said. I hope his kid continues to be a pain in the a$$ for a few more years ;).

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Hillary said...

Oh.My.Gosh.

That is terrible and it seriously almost made me cry. I can't believe he said that in front of the whole church, but I am also horrified that this would be his attitude towards his son in general.

Does your husband know him? I think this is a place where "iron sharpens iron" and somebody should talk to him (not necessarily your husband, just thinking out loud)...

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Leah said...

I was also sitting in church on Sunday, with my husband and two babies, and I realized that looks can be deceiving. What looks like a blessed and perfect family, can have a lot of hurt and pain happening in their lives. You just never know the battles others are fighting. . . but I guarantee we are all fighting a battle.

I continue to pray that you will be blessed with a child soon.