family · Holiday


Steve and his brothersYesterday was Father’s Day, at least in the US.  Steve, being British gets 2 days to be recognized for his parental role.  He has one son still in the UK and one who moved to WA who still lives here.

I had invited the local son, Richard to dinner to celebrate Father’s Day; we would be eating at 3.  About 1 yesterday afternoon he sent a text, asking how many people the invitation covered.  Without indicating why, I assumed he was asking if at least one of his two roomates could come as well.   I replied that as steak was on the menu and as I had only purchased three, the answer was … 3.  We had not anticipated a crowd; this was Steve’s Father’s Day meal.

Apparently that offended.  Three o’clock came and went and Steve and I ate a delicious dinner together.  There was no courtesy decline, just an absence.

So it’s family.  How do you work with it?  First of all, I refuse to acknowledge the drama.  I will not look for an explanation.  The next family event which comes, will have another invitaiton extended.  You can’t change anyone else’s behavior.  The only person you can alter is you.

I was introduced to a blog today.  It is written by a woman who attends my church home in Shoreline.  She married a man who I had known and worked with in children’s ministry for many years.  They are now real estate clients as well.  Debbie recently tendered her resignation from the private school where she taught in order to attend seminary. 

Richard has made some interesting choices with his life.  Frequently we are tempted to slap him upside the head and make him see what he’s doing to himself.  Debbie’s blog pointed me another direction.  After I got hooked on her insightful and carefully crafted piece on brokeness, I carried on to the previous posting about Lars and the Real Girl.  I had seen and enjoyed it, although not with her perspective.  She placed the blow up companion, Bianca, in the role of Christ and commented on how her presence allowed the community to minister more effectively; “deliberately choosing to act as they believe Jesus would.”

I had had a squeamish reaction to Lars and the Real GirlWhy are these idiots, who can clearly see a mail order sex tox, allowing themselves to be manipulated in this manner?  Couldn’t we just slap some sense into this guy and help him face reality?

There are so many things in Richard’s life which could be viewed as the equivalent of a blow up toy — how do I use one to meet him where he needs to be met?  The dinner snub was only important in that it made his father unhappy.  The movie’s characters, despite having been snubbed for many years in their efforts to help Lars, continued to do so.

Interesting how a perspective on a film moves it from “squeamish” to “selfless.”  Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.


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