Startled, a sobering question struck me recently: What if my son Ryan (now a freshman at Southern) is no better at keeping in touch with his parents than I was with mine?
Maybe it’s not really a fair comparison though, since I went to AUC (Atlantic Union College) which was less than an hour away from our house near Boston. I often went home on weekends; laundry was actually my main motive as I recall. Still, I don’t think I ever gave much thought to how my move to college affected my mom and dad.
One sees best, of course, from his own perspective. And from my perspective things were fine. Perspectives change with time though and now I’m the concerned/enthusiastic/worried/hopeful/fearful/excited (pick one; or two; or however many you need!) parent!
But it can get confusing if you look too closely (something I’m very prone to do as you may have noticed!) into the dynamics;
-- does he call/write/text because he’s doing well?
-- because he’s worried about how we’re coping?
-- or maybe because he’s not doing so well and needs some affirmation?
-- Oh my! --
Or does he NOT call/write/text because things are going so well we’re now but a distant memory?
-- or because he knows we’ll worry more if he shares too deeply any problems? -- or because he’s very overwhelmed but fears sharing because he doesn’t want to scare or discourage us?
I can hear my wife/Ryan’s mom Dotty, ever the sane one, bringing me back to reality. “Honey, maybe a call/text/email saying ‘Hi - I love you’ is simply that.” (OK -- I feel better now!)
I’ve thought a lot lately about family. What it means, how it all works, and why it’s so central to the essence of who we are. It’s an image that God Himself has used liberally in telling us what we mean to Him. As children of the heavenly Father, we are part of His big family. Hard to see at times perhaps, but that’s the reality of our shared Christian, and Adventist belief.