Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates… –Deuteronomy 11:20
I have been fortunate through my nearly 5 decades to have been invested into by many folks who are much wiser than I. My parents are two great examples. Are they perfect? Nope. But they are wise, partially from experience, partially from imperfection (and the lessons learned therein), and completely from the **Lord, the final source of all wisdom anyway. My parents are both remarried to wonderful folks and this piece is not to diminish that happy reality at all. In fact, as you may see, their remarriages have been a tremendous blessing to me and our family. I want to discuss here, just briefly, my take on parental wisdom.
Mom and dad are two very different people, and I think this was even more the case when I was young. At the risk of being politically-charged here, I have to say that the two genders, as described as the order and basis of creation in the first few pages of the book of Genesis, are also different. Not even a little bit with one better/more important than the other…just different, by nature. One way: empathy and care. Women were nearly 8x more likely to stop working during the Coronavirus crisis than men. This is largely because of child care and/or senior parent care. Even a cursory ask in most families which parent would be a better caregiver in terms of daily living, care, and empathy would result in a clear “Mom” answer. Men CAN do it, just not nearly as well as women. My parents exhibited their gendered-versions of wisdom and still do. What does that look like? For one, my mom tempered her wisdom with empathy in a much more sensitive way than my dad. Dad is sensitive too…but in a different way than mom. Dad tends, like most men do, to lovingly say “Suck it up, buttercup.” 😉 Note: It is hard for me to believe it, but even writing this paragraph will get me cancelled/deleted/unsubscribed from many groups, and fired from some jobs. My intent isn’t to make anyone hate me or like me or anything other than merely expressing traditional Christianity. I love people of all gender expressions. Anyone who thinks one gender is better than the other is wrong.
Wisdom during the pandemic is in short supply. My generation NEEDS wisdom from both of their parents, the **method that God uses to pass on wisdom when society is functioning correctly. My kids’ generation NEEDS my generation’s wisdom too…but that is assuming we received it from our parents. This whole wisdom thing is a big pyramid scheme…or perhaps a house of cards… dependent on the passing of a heritage. I think that is why wisdom is in such short supply…. My generation has decided that our parents, while nice enough, are not a vessel God used to transmit wisdom to us and we sought a wisdom of our own. Then our kids, following the innate desire to draw wisdom from their parents, found them in one of two places: overworked and indifferent, trying to keep up with the Joneses–or–as laissez faire parents who seem cultured by the culture by such statements as “I won’t tell my kids what to believe. I will offer them (often biased) information on choices (in religion, politics, other areas) and let them figure it out without my influence.” They turn to media/internet/peers for wisdom that doesn’t pass on traditional understandings…and peer pressure kicks in and soon we are in a value-vacuumed mess.
This is a lot being said to make one statement: I need mom’s wisdom. I really do. The pandemic is, at times, kicking my butt. My dad has done a great job offering the dad version of wisdom. He has. He has never been through this kind of thing either and he is trying to dip, again, into the well of wisdom and pass it to me…and is doing a great job.—and my step-mom and step-dads, respectively, do their part too…but I sorely miss mom’s balancing version of wisdom. And there is not much I can do about it. I hate this disease…
I leave you with a little video that makes my Thanksgiving season smile. This was from her first few months in memory care, while living with the Sweet 17:
Are things going to be ok? Here is mom’s answer for you and for me:
Update: I had a video call with mom and we squeezed a smile out of her. She is quiet and doing her best. I am surprised and blessed that she has made it this long.
** The actual vessel God uses to transmit this wisdom is the Bible, the storehouse of wisdom lovingly delivered to us and, too often, neglected.
Also, please know…if you disagree with me, I am ok with that and I love you all the same. I am a Christian and think like one and I always will. Christians love those who disagree with us too. 🙂 If they don’t, they ain’t. A little grace if we disagree?