A Boy at the Cross

Growing up in Cajun country, Good Friday was a day to attend church services at 3:00 and solemnly venerate the cross.  Once the service was completed, families gathered together for a meal (usually a crawfish boil), and then spent the rest of the day celebrating family and the upcoming Easter festivities.  Until I was grown with grandchildren, I did not fully understand the magnitude of what happened on the first Good Friday.  At that time, I chose to spend the afternoon taking my grandchildren to Good Friday services;  there would be no family gatherings for celebration until Easter Sunday.

A few years ago, I attended Good Friday services at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Milton, Louisiana with my nine-year old granddaughter and my six-year old grandson.  The church was dark and quiet.  My grandson, who was a very talkative young man, fell asleep on the pew not long after services began.  I did not wake him.  At the time of veneration of the cross, the congregation was told to remove shoes and walk up to the cross barefoot.  At that time I awakened my grandson and instructed this sleepy little boy to remove his shoes so that we can go up to the cross.  He was a little confused by all this, but I did not have time to fully explain. I got his shoes off, and then we were up and walking up the aisle to kiss the cross of Jesus.

My grandson was ahead of me and in no time at all, it was his turn to walk up and kiss the cross in veneration.  Now he was really confused.  He stood about 3 feet away and just looked at the cross.  My mind was racing….what should I do if he continues to just stand there! I had a real fear that he would turn around and ask me what were these people doing! Embarrassed that the line of people were being held up, I decided I would just walk ahead of him, kiss the cross and take him by the hand with me back to our pew.  No sooner had I made this decision; he finally took a few steps, softly kissed the cross and it was my turn. I really  regretted not talking to him about the service beforehand.  I had much explaining to do on the way home!

The following week I attended mass and apologized to Father.  I told him my grandson had been sleeping and was confused about what was going on during Good Friday service.  He immediately asked me if my grandson was the boy who just stood there looking at the cross.  I winced and told him yes, it was.  Father told me not to apologize; many people afterwards had told him they were greatly moved by seeing this young boy stand and look at the cross before walking over to kiss the wood.  He thought it very touching himself!  I was highly relieved and felt very foolish.  I had only seen my drowsy grandson holding up a line of devout Catholics wanting to venerate the cross.  God had it planned that everyone else saw how we should approach the cross – as a child, full of awe and wonderment.  A boy standing if front of his Redeemer.

Yesterday was Good Friday, 2020.  It will forever be remembered as the day mankind truly walked the Passion with Our Lord.  Never was there a time when the world felt so helpless, lonely and forsaken.  Yesterday afternoon, I spent time with Jesus and reflected on His sacrifice and the sacrifices forced upon mankind during this pandemic.  His great pain was not caused by the physical torture and crucifixion; but by the abandonment of His friends and the emotional torture of viewing His beloved mother’s anguished and deeply grieved face as she stood by Him through it all.

It is impossible to reflect on the passion of Jesus Christ and not acknowledge the suffering endured by His mother.  I can imagine in that walk to Calvary, Mary’s mind was flooded with memories of the baby she held in Bethlehem and presented in the temple; and the boy she nurtured, fed, and loved.  Others saw only a man.  She saw the Christ child that she was blessed to bring into this world; a world that hated and persecuted Him.  Mothers everywhere can sympathize with this holy mother of all mothers.  It was her baby boy on that cross.  I am sure she stood there confused by the angry mob and the hatred spewed out towards her Son, who was all good and loving.

Her heart was pierced just as His side was pierced for our transgressions.

This Holy Week, my heart has been pierced by the separation from my children and grandchildren.  I can do nothing but stand at the cross and pray for mercy.  I approach the cross as my grandson did those years ago – in awe and wonderment.  He is my redeemer.  By His stripes, I am healed.

In the end, this too will pass.  There will be a resurrection.  I will once again spend time with my family and friends.  I will not take that time for granted.  For now, I spend my days with Jesus and His mother.  They know my pain, because they lived it and so much more than I could ever imagine!

LORD BY YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION YOU HAVE SET US FREE!

 

 

 

 

Wrong side of the fence

MICHELANGELOI spent election day with my granddaughter and grandson.  We had errands to run in the morning, and so I thought it a good idea to have a gift for each of them at home for our return – if the two of them behaved.

It worked!  The two kids were very well-behaved and were very excited upon returning home to find a doll for the girl and a ninja turtle for the boy.  I was very proud of myself!  The kids immediately became involved with playing with their gifts and I began working on a gumbo.

It was nice to spend the day with my grandchildren.  The day was going extremely well until we took the dog, Oscar, out in the back yard.  My grandson decided to take his ninja turtle outside and began throwing the turtle around.  Our back yard is not very big.  There is a barbed wire fence at the very back of the yard separating my yard from a pasture.  Having the big field behind us gives the illusion that the yard is very big indeed.  After my grandson threw the turtle a couple of times, inching his way to the fence, I warned him to stop throwing the toy because it could end up over the fence.

Well, that was a mistake!  My grandson heard these words, looked back at me, took a big step forward and flung the toy over the fence!  He turned back towards me, and my face must have said it all!  His eyes got really big and he yelled at me to not worry;  he would go over the fence and get his toy.  I immediately yelled back at him that his toy was not on my property and he was not allowed to go over the fence.  And so the battle began.

He was not happy.  He had trouble controlling his emotions at that point.  The stomping, yelling, and crying took control over him.  I kept my cool and simply told him to get back inside.  He began jumping and yelling.  I began counting with my fingers – did not have to say another word – and he stomped right back into the house sniffling and carrying on.  I had to sit him in the hallway and told him he needed to calm down.

As soon as he quieted down, I sneaked out of the house and was able to just reach his ninja turtle.  I rescued Raphael from the neighbors and went have a sit down with my grandson.

Before I returned the toy, my grandson and I talked about LISTENING.  When I asked him what it meant to listen, he replied that one should listen to their moms, dads, grams, and pops.  I explained that he was a child and he should always listen to the grown up in charge.  I then asked him what happens when we don’t listen. He shrugged.  I told him, “BAD THINGS HAPPEN”!  He wiped his face and agreed with me.  He promised to try to listen.  He apologized and I gave him back the trouble causing “behavior gift” along with a kiss and a hug.

As children we are tasked with listening to our parents and grandparents, teachers, etc.  As adults we are tasked with listening to our Father in Heaven.  I am sure that when we don’t listen and BAD THINGS HAPPEN…God must shake His head!  Like any good parent, He must watch and say softly, “If only you had LISTENED!”.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” Hebrews 4:7

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

The world tells us it is not necessary to listen to God.  The world tells us that we make our own rules and can do what makes us happy.  But our Father knows what is best for us and knows the way to our true happiness….Will we listen or end up on the wrong side of the fence?

C’est Bon!

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are little boys made of?

brayden

I was the oldest of four girls.  I had no brothers.  My two youngest sisters are 10 and 15 years younger than me.  Needless to say, I did an awful lot of babysitting for my mom.  By the time I was a teenager, I could feed, burp, change, and soothe a little one.  There was nothing about being a mother that I was uncomfortable with….until the day my husband and I were expecting our second child and the doctor told us during the ultrasound that he was 100% sure the baby was a boy!

Boy!…  I knew girls…I had three younger sisters, and one daughter.  My daughter was two at the time and very girly.  She liked bows in her hair, dresses, playing with dolls….  What did I know about raising a boy?

My husband assured me that having been a boy himself;  he had this.  But, my husband was in the Navy.  For the first year of our son’s life, my husband was mostly away on deployments.  I thought, OK, a little boy can not be that different from a little girl.  That was so not true!

My daughter was very quiet and independent.  My son was loud and dependent.  My little girl was neat and clean.  My little boy was dirty and busy.  It amazed me how at such a young age, I could see such a huge difference between the girl and the boy.

Once my husband had served his time in the Navy, he was very true to his word.  We had another son and my husband was very active in teaching both boys sports and helping out with coaching their teams.  Football was the main sport at our house.

Once, I picked up my oldest son after a pee-wee football practice, and was shocked to find the entire team covered in mud.   It had rained that day and the practice field was a muddy mess.  My husband was still at work.  I got the child into my vehicle and some how  managed to get him home.  Just then, his dad drove up.  I was standing in the yard with our son, who was only recognizable by his green eyes, and said to my husband, “I don’t know what to do with him!”  My husband laughed and said, “get me the hose.”  He hosed off our son and the two of them had a great time talking about the muddy practice.  My husband shared his old muddy football stories with his son.  It was a great father – son moment!

Boys and girls are just different.  That is how God intended it to be.  It pains me to hear about the gender identity crisis occurring in our society.  There are parents who think their tomboy little girls should dress like the boys, go to the boys’ rest room and call themselves “David” if they want. The parents are no longing guiding, teaching, serving as role models.   There are many children today who are growing up within a philosophy that gender does not matter.  You can be whatever, whomever you want to be.  I find that to be a slap in the face of our Creator.

It is also a matter of science.  Men and women have different chromosomes.  Men have 2 different sex chromosomes (XY).  Women have 2 of the same kind of sex chromosomes (XX).  Men and women can change the outside appearance of their bodies all they want.  They can have surgeries, take hormones…but the fact remains that the sex chromosomes will remain the same.  That person will always be what God intended them to be.

God’s intention is nothing but beautiful!

Genesis 2:21 “Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh.  He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him.  Then the man said, “At last here is one of my own kind – Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. Woman is her name because she was taken out of man. ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.”

I now have a granddaughter who is seven and a grandson who is four.  They are extremely different characters.  And everything is just as it should be.

What are little granddaughters made of? Bows, fingernail polish, My Little Ponies, American Girl Dolls, Princesses, and Ballet shoes.

What are little grandsons made of?  Pirates, Ninja Turtles, football, wrestling, cowboy boots, puppy dogs, trucks, and Spider Man.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry