I had that nugget dropped on me recently. Essentially, what it means to me; a grown man in his 30's who has made his living caring for young people, who has wept over the hurts and pains of teenagers, who would love to have biological children of his own, is that I can't understand what it means to love someone. I mean, sure, I can love someone, but I can't LOVE someone.
There is a distinction. Biological and adoptee parents like to believe that there is a special level of care that can only occur once a child exists as some kind of deduction on the yearly taxes. Look, you're not going to catch me saying that I love every student in my ministry like a single, devoted, loving parent cares for their kid. I get it, your heart is walking around outside of your body. I know.
Don't tell me I can't stir up an appropriate emotional response because I have not yet been blessed with a child of my own. I do get, "it". I can understand any and every motivation you have or will ever have. If we're just being honest, having a kid doesn't unlock a special parental love. Just ask the kids in my youth group. You know, the ones without their birth parents.
I want to retort back, "You'll understand some day when you can't have a kid." Unfortunately, that is impossible because they have a kid . . . so logic wins again. But, I would want to tell them that they'll get it when they look at a world that abuses, takes advantage of, and forgets about children when all you want is one of your own. I would gently remind him or her that you can't love something like I do because you don't long like I do. Maybe it's a different type, but it's real and it sucks sometimes.
Don't tell me I can't understand the decisions you are making because you love your kid in some special way that isn't available to me. Don't tell me that whatever biological or mental or spiritual thing that has kept me from having a kid excludes me from reaching into the deepest reaches of my soul to find the same kind of love you have. Just don't do it. I know good from bad and I want the best for every single student that comes into my ministry. My heart walks around with hundreds of kids. Trust me, most of them don't even see it before they crush it underfoot.
You might not ever understand how I feel. You are limited based on the fact that you have children. You probably can't experience what I experience. If you did struggle, I wonder if you've forgotten what it was like? I hope someday, if you're lucky, you'll get a glimpse of the depths of how I care. I'm just not sure you will, and that's unfortunate, but maybe someday.
There's nothing redemptive here. If it sounds ill-natured, it probably is. It's just frustrating to have something like that used against me. End Rant. It's not intended for anyone in particular because plenty of people say it to me. The most recent was just the tipping point. I won't be letting anyone tell me I can't understand something because I don't have kids anymore. It's a cop out. I'm over it.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
So, last week me and the other guys on staff were the house band for a women's conference at the church. After the millionth hour of being at work, we decided to break up things by shooting some video announcements. I was useless. It's not so much of a blooper reel as it is a stir-crazy reel. Some people have said it's funny, I thought both of you might like to check it out.