Off the Wall: A Crack in Everything

“There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in. ” -Leonard Cohen

I was a preacher’s kid. Preacher’s kids are the worst, I’ve often been told. Both my little brother and I agree with this, but we know the reasons why. In a way you are a small town super star. You begin life on display, tossed into a role of perfection. It gets mighty confusing right away because your father represents God, to you and a whole congregation of hungry souls.

My brother and I use to crawl under the pews after everyone had left; it was a game to see who could get to the front first. We’d scoot like inch worms, scuffing up our Sunday best in the process. You’d have to visit a Southern Baptist Church to know, but in the front of the church is a huge bath tub of sorts, usually hid behind some curtains. This is where people get cleansed of their sins. This use to be done in the river, but weather and necessity made it useful to have an indoor river.

Now my brother had just turned 3 years old and was about to visit his first baptism, we were both sitting on either side of my mom. If you moved she’d pinch the fire out of you, so we were very well behaved. But something happened to my brother when the baptismal curtains were opened. There was our father dressed in a white robe, a dove painted above his head. A little girl not much older than I was stood in front of him awaiting her baptism. My brother was in total awe, he wiggled away from my mom’s pinching fingers and went under the pews, but this time with people there. They scoffed and hollered, but this didn’t stop him , he just wiggled and wormed till he was in the front of the sanctuary. Then he pointed to my dad, and shouted, “My daddy is God!”

While this is funny it is how many children feel about their parents. Parents can do no wrong, it is just as that child gets older they begin to see imperfections in their parents. Parents just like preachers are human, they aren’t always going to be perfect, in fact they will make mistakes. But we as children can learn from their mistakes and hopefully be better parents and people. And parents should be willing to admit when they aren’t perfect, allow their child to see making a mistake isn’t always failure. In fact we learn most from making mistakes.  So instead of being disappointed that your parents aren’t God, maybe be glad they are human and you can learn from them. They may have even had similar problems growing up.

This isn’t to say strive to be imperfect, but rather that we be strive to be good to each other. It also doesn’t mean we make excuses for our actions, but it does mean that we take responsibility for our actions and do better. There is a balance that can be found through forgiveness and true repentance, both can bring about positive changes in ourselves and others.

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