When our children were young and growing up, Molly and I made a practice of every Monday night taking one of our five children out for supper - so they could "get a word in edgewise," and so we could hear their hearts, and concentrate on each one, one at a time. We loved those times together.
But now our five are all mature adults, and they have busy lives of their own - even children of their own to attend to. Or, at least lives of hard work, and busy schedules.
We wait for celebration times, to be together. Birthdays. Easter. Thanksgiving. Christmas.
But today an invitation came, "out of the blue." "Could Dad have coffee with me at Starbucks this afternoon, about 2:00?" the message came from a daughter, through her mother, by phone.
Well, of course. What an honor. My daughter asking me, for a date. No agenda. Just coffee and conversation.
We did meet for 2-1/2 hours, to talk a little bit about everything. About times of change in life. About decisions. About church. And, about life outside of church. In the world - the world of need.
She wanted to expand. To see more. More people. More conditions of life. She wanted to understand more. Maybe help more.
We talked of faith. And, calling. I told a little of my struggling to understand the new stage of my life.
My child and I, sitting together, talking of life, being direct. Helping each other. Sharing what we knew. Learning from each other. Such an exciting exchange. It made my day. Indeed, much more than my day.
Could we do it again? Could I get an hour - or two - to do the same with each of my children?
I realize there is much I can yet learn from them. And, though they know much of what I think about, and care about, and have tried to stand for, my listening to them with new ears might be a way to encourage them, to help them still, as they, like I, endeavor to navigate new stages in life, especially in these changing times.
Surely, that is what Jesus did, with His nearest and dearest friends. He looked at the world around, and at God above, and told them what He saw, and what He believed was true.
Perhaps these are days for us all to try to find ways to see the same.
Bless you, friends.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES