Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)
TITLE: Just Passing Through
By Wilma Schlegel
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At work the next week some friends asked me why I didn’t seem like myself. I told them about my daughter. I should have seen it coming, but I wasn’t prepared for the responses I got.
“Oh, don’t be upset! Your baby has grown up, she has her own life, it’s a good thing!” said one friend.
“Cheer up, she’ll still need her mom,” said another.
“No, that’s not it,” I tried to explain. Was I speaking in a foreign language? “I don’t mind that she’s moved away and has her own place - I wish it was her own place- I didn’t raise her to...”
The raised eyebrows and stares told me to let it go; I knew they didn’t speak my ‘language’ here, I should have kept my mouth shut.
It’s so hard to be a Christian in this world. Sometimes I feel like Elijah in I Kings chapter 19 when he has just successfully called upon God to burn up the water-drenched sacrifice, but then he feels like he’s the only prophet of God left. God showed Elijah that that wasn’t true and I know it’s not true for me either, but sometimes I feel so different, isolated, alone.
Even some Christian friends have given me questionable advice.
“Don’t offend her, you don’t want to lose her.”said one.
No, I don’t, I thought. That’s why when she came home from college using words we didn’t use at home I let her know I didn’t appreciate it, but then let it go, just like friends told me to do. I tried to turn my head when she watched certain television shows, too.
Have I been speaking in a foreign language to her all these years? Where did I go wrong?
Or am I the one who is wrong?
Maybe I am. Even my own siblings disagree with me. When they found out how ‘inappropriately’ I had reacted to my daughter’s living arrangement they comforted her saying my ideas were ‘outdated’, ‘ridiculously old-fashioned’ and ‘I’d better get myself into the twenty-first century’.
I was hurt that they didn’t speak to me privately with their concerns, but instead spoke against me behind my back. I wasn’t taught to talk about someone behind their back, where did my siblings learn this?
It’s been over a year now since my daughter has been living with her (now) fiancé. I’ve been to their apartment because I love her (though I don’t love her lifestyle). I was uncomfortable when she showed me their bedroom. Again, do I speak a foreign language? How could she not know this would bother me?
It is very hard to be a Christian in this world. Sometimes I know I don’t act when I should, and sometimes I’m afraid I over-react when I shouldn’t.
I pray for wisdom and understanding and grace. And when I feel isolated and alone, I know it’s time to be meeting together with other Christians as Hebrews 10:25 tells us to.
Meanwhile, I must remember “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through”.*
*This World is Not My Home, Lyrics by S. D. Burton
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