Thursday, May 04, 2006

lately i've been thinking a lot about the Apostle Paul.
not him so much, but his family. i wonder how they reacted after he gave his life to Christ and began traveling the globe, planting churches and telling the Good News of Jesus.
In his new testament writings, he refers to his status as a Pharisee. about his training, his skill, his knowledge. he was the creme de la creme.
i wonder, had his parents been proud of his life as a Pharisee? and if so, how did they react when his life completely changed? when he began promoting the very thing he had been condeming. i wonder how they reacted when he exchanged the "security" of his Pharisaical duties for the unstable, uncertain life of an apostle. did they hear the stories of his imprisonment, the beatings he endured? did they shake their heads in confusion, wondering what in the world could have possessed their son to live such an extreme life? did his mom cry when she heard the stories? did she feel like her son had thrown his life away on something meaningless?
and what was that like for Paul? if his parents never understood his decision, then the challenges and the suffering he faced must have made no sense to them at all. how painful was it for him to know that his parents thought he was suffering in vain? did his victories cast a small shadow of sorrow, because he couldn't share his excitement with his family? was he plagued by a longing for his parents to know the same God, the same saving grace, the same peace? did that longing color everything he did. not in bold, bright strokes, but a subtle coloring, like when you add just a dab of burnt umber to white paint. it's not a drastic color, but you can tell that it's not quite right. was it like that?

i think of all these things as i think about amsterdam. and about my own family. though i'll never have to endure what paul endured in terms of suffering and imprisonment and beatings. every child wants her parents to be proud of her. every parent wants to be proud of her child.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog entry. Great questions and made me think today. Praying for you.....
Love Kristi Kurtz

10:21 AM  
Blogger Stef said...

Hey Kristi,
I'm glad it made you think. Thinking is good. :)
thanks for the prayers.
love you.

5:04 PM  

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