A prayer for the lying

My children woke me to pray this morning at 5:45 a.m.

Actually, they woke me playing Legos and making the range of dramatic voices and sound effects that are, apparently, part of early morning Lego play. But then I pleaded with them to go back to sleep, and they tried to comply, in a form of meditative semi-quiet, for at least five minutes, after which I prayed a great deal.

I am happy to report they are all still living. And people think prayers aren’t efficacious.

I understand that this revelation — that sometimes children can inflict a kind of torture that would make the ACLU register protest — runs somewhat counter to my latest essay for Image (which now has space at Patheos, a sort of all-things-about-faith site that no doubt gives Reformed types oodles of material for sermonizing and reprobate-spotting), but then life and faith are full of polar opposites that must be managed gracefully, no?


  1. Marc V

    WWJS: What Would Jesus See? We talk about his eyes of fire, but He also has eyes of love, His desire for all to be saved and that none should perish. Since we cannot see into others hearts like Jesus, we can at least give them some grace.

    My wife took the Legos away from our two younger children, for good. There were times they would play very well together, but the other night was the last straw. The boy gets possessive, the girl wants to play with stuff the boy won’t allow and conflict ensues.

    Life and faith do have polar opposites, yet also similar threads. How can a brother and sister who should love each other so much cause such anger? Yeah, that’s rhetorical and it’s been going on as long as there have been siblings, but it still breaks a parent’s heart. You’d need a God-sized heart for the 5 billion knuckleheads on this planet.

  2. susan

    I used to go to a Big PCA church where my dad is on staff. The church is full of very wealthy people. Beautiful people in Brooks Brothers. After I graduated from college, quit my job, and scrapped my wedding plans, I moved back home under a cloud of failure and started attending the “Singles” Sunday School class. It was full of upwardly-mobile beautiful people. One week, I sat there brokenhearted looking at all those beautiful folks with such bright futures, and I had a vision of them with their heads bashed in and their arms blown off like they were sitting in some kind of spiritual triage area for trauma victims. I realized they were as broken as me. It’s never as it appears on the outside is it?

    I love your writing, Tony.

  3. Lore

    Goodness, the only reprobate this reformed type usually sees is her own self, so there’s no judgement about the move to Pathos, only delight to see Image finally getting some more well-deserved traffic!

    Great post, btw. Hope you’re doing well.

  4. J Ibanez

    I know this post a couple of weeks old at this point, but I couldn’t have read it at a better time as my kids just pulled the same thing on me this morning.

    That, and I loved the post at Image. Imagining folks who irk me as children my son’s age really puts things in perspective.

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