My brother Dave said once (and I am paraphrasing) that each of us as believers has our own congregation. A group of people with whom we closely relate, who observe our lives, whom we can influence. For a stay-at-home mom, that congregation is largely her children.
One of my congregants is packed and ready to leave for camp. Is it right for me to be jealous over him, to put on the she-bear
persona? Not if it means I step up in his defense when he has acted like a wing nut and, though it may have been entirely of his own volition, it very well may indicate some poor parenting skills on my end. I’ve seen this. But, yes, if that means I am concerned for his well being there, and praying God will protect him from the sundry knothead camper who is there under duress and wanting to encourage any and all to become his cohorts. And if my son is manifesting knothead tendencies, I am jealous for his soul and that God will duly route the attempts of the adversary to distract my dear one from paying attention to His still, small voice.
So, I pack my boy’s bag with care, and put a note inside that tells him I love him and I’m praying for him. I make sure he has clean underwear and his asthma meds. I include a bag for his dirty laundry (like he’s going to use it) and his Bible, and a notebook and pen. He tells me he wants to take his teddy, so I stuff it in his pillow case, and (knowing that there may not be many kids bringing teddies with them) I suggest that if he decides he does not want to use it (ie “If you notice nobody else has one and you don’t want to feel like a little kid”…without using those exact words), the teddy has plenty of room to breathe if he remains inside the pillow case (which is a tough guy camo/army lookin’ thing). I prepare him for the experience as best I can to help him have a successful week at camp.
And now I pray.