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Sunday, June 22, 2014

There's a strange man out there... and prayer

Schaduw op het BuurkerkhofCC BY-SA 3.0view terms
Victor van Werkhooven - Own work
There's a strange man out there. I've likely never met him. I have no idea where he is.  I know he has a beard, because I know my daughter.

I worry for him.

He is swimming in sea of secular corruption and struggling with a society that is not God affirming. He has pornography at his fingertips and is faced with the task of achieving professional success in an economy that is hardly promising. He is surrounded by women who have been suckled on a hook-up-culture.  He has the challenge of honoring his parents while emerging into manhood.  Although he has likely not yet set eyes on her, he holds the heart, security, and the hopes and dreams of my daughter in his hands. He will raise my grandchildren.

I've been praying for him for years.  His parents rest in my heart's embrace; I understand their task and their worries. Daily, they enter my prayers.  Three unseen people - a mystery - held close, are the focus of so many supplications. The nucleus of years of soul-yearning before God.

We've been preparing her these twenty years.

She's learned to love family and home. She's trained her gaze on our Lord. She's entered college at 16, so that she might exit equally quickly to nurture an entrepreneurial spirit. She's dug deeply into child development. She's learned to show kindness and to give mercy and to struggle against passing judgement. She's learned to respect and value men and to honor their strengths and their differences.  She's learned not to worry like her mother does. She's learned to pray and to set boundaries and to prepare her family's tax returns. She's struggled with taming emotions and has tackled skills for making rational decisions. She's learned to manage customers' orders and create beauty and ship her creations all over the world. She's poured over instructions for perfect madeleines. She's learned to laugh at the silliness of it all. She's learned to how to love.

She's learned that she's only scratched the surface and that her growth and development must never end. She's learned that she must overcome her parents' vast inadequacies.

Ніжний ранковий світлоCC BY-SA 3.0  Balkhovitin - Own work, National park "Sviati Hory" (Holy Mountains),Donetsk OblastUkraine
I cannot raise him, though.

I can only trust that he is growing strong and righteous and prayerful in a warm and solid family embrace. I can only hope that they have taught him to respect her and protect her and provide for her. I can only anticipate that he smiles at toddlers who scream in church and puts one on his knee once in a while.  I can yearn to trust that his father has taught him to be a man and to love a woman.  I can have faith that his mother holds him warmly and tightly-- and that he knows that she believes in him. I can be optimistic that he understands that pornography will train him to respond to streaming images rather a warm, breathing woman who loves him; and that it will place a chasm between him and his beloved.  I can only hope that he has extraordinary strength.

I can only pray.

I'm sure my concerns seem obsessive to some, - premature, unnecessary.  I don't think I'm alone though. I think that for those for whom family is held above all other earth-bound concerns, the awareness that our children will transition into families of their own weighs both joyously and anxiously heavy.

And so we pray.

"Remember (him), O Lord our God, and the parents who have reared (him), for the prayers of parents confirm the foundation of houses."
(~Orthodox Service of Marriage, adapted)

God bless our children this day and always,
Pax Christi dear ones,

Linked with blogs on the Blog Hops page and Unforced rhythms at Chronicles of Grace.

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  1. I prayed for parents somewhere raising a righteous son of daughter as I was raising my children. Each was blessed with wonderful spouses. In my opinion a wise prayer.

  2. This is by far the BEST post I have read in a while. Great Post! I pray and hope this is every mother's prayer. I have been greatly encouraged to continue praying for my future hubby. Thanks for sharing!

    Nontie (visiting from - A Victorious Woman of Faith:

  3. I love this. It was my practice, too. It's not easy to find a man of character, but my daughter did (my other daughter is getting married in December). The other prayer was that her husband's mother would love her, too. It causes such trouble in marriages when the inlaws don't respect each other. Mine was a godly woman who loved me unconditionally. I wanted that for my girls. ~Pamela

  4. It's a journey, isn't it? Learning day by day to trust our children (our hearts) to God and to trust God's plan for their lives. I'm so grateful that God loves them better and more fully than I ever will and in that I trust. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms, Michelle.

  5. I cried while reading this. It's so beautiful. You're such a beautiful, strong and loving person. Your posts always challenge me to be better.

    A better mother, a better wife, a better woman. You challenge me to be who God made me to be by loving those whom He placed (or will place) in my life and the lives of my family.

    Bless you.

    I'm so glad you're back. So, so glad.


  6. What a beautiful post. I would like to add that if he does not come from a family who has raised him the way you have raised your daughter ... your prayers are doing powerful work to shape him into the man God wants him to be, to set the right people in his path. My own husband--who is a godly, gentle, generous man--was not raised a Catholic or even much of a Christian, but he became Catholic at the age of 19, about 5 years before we met. I know my mother's prayers helped him find his home in the Church!


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Pax Christi!