1 Corinthians 13:
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When Ibecame a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
How many people did I lose? Still here? On we go…
I want to focus here on this part:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Many of you know that my son is 9 and currently working through 4th grade. He has brought home quite a few biographies over the last couple months focusing on those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He was particularly excitable when reading about Rosa Parks. I picked him up one afternoon and quietly listened for close to an hour while he railed about the injustice of her experiences. I agreed and quietly nodded along, keeping eye contact and giving him my full attention. When he gets riled up it is truly something amazing but that is another topic for another rabbit hole.
As he was winding down he commented on how he was just glad that kind of thing didn’t happen anymore.
And my only thought was wouldn’t it, indeed, be nice if that kind of thing didn’t happen anymore.
I am not speaking specifically about any particular event in Rosa Park’s life but in more general terms.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have that kind of discrimination and intolerance in general?
Now he seemed to be calming and I really did hate to burst his bubble but – well – that is exactly how much I suck.
So I asked him – Would you be surprised to hear that the kind of discrimination inflicted on Rosa Parks still exists today? It has a slightly different feel and target but it still exists.
His eyes went wide and he cried out an incredulous “Seriously?”
I really do suck. He looked at me like…I had just kicked a puppy or stolen candy from a baby. He looked shocked and a little outraged…and maybe a little hurt. He was mad about how Rosa Park’s was treated but he finished the book thinking all was right with the world. That kind of thing didn’t happen anymore. And then Mom came along and shattered all of his recent illusions. I brought a little bit of harsh reality into his cozy little world.
I smiled a little sadly. I told him it was a big talk for another day.
We sat quietly for a few minutes, both of us thinking…
And then I asked him “What is marriage to you?”
I know. I know. I suck. He was really still trying to calm himself down from his rant and I could see his eyes had lost focus and he was thinking intently about something. But I was curious Ok?
His little brow furrowed and his mouth worked soundlessly for a minute while he seriously contemplated my question and formed his response.
“It’s a union, wait…no…well yes but also a commitment….made by people who love each other so much that they want to be locked together forever.” There was a significant pause and then he snickered a little and then mumbled “Ball and chain” and then laughed a little harder then sighed and his eyes lost focus again as he stared out the window.
My point? You should know better, I rarely have one.
Right. Sometimes I wish that we didn’t leave the ways of childhood behind. How perfect is that explanation of marriage?
In my child’s eyes discrimination in any way is wrong. Hurting someone with your words is wrong. Treating people poorly for any reason is wrong.
It is so simple.
It wouldn’t take much to change this though.
What if…I had made a comment against the Civil Rights Movement?
Would he still think it was good or would he file my negativity away to be used on his own at a later time.
What if…I had made a comment about marriage only being between a man and a woman?
Would his definition of marriage change? He made no such distinction.