Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Little Like Joseph

I've shared stories from my life occasionally with friends, and they sometimes tell me that I ought to write them--so I've tried writing as in book or article form, and it just seemed lame. Somehow blogging is not so intimidating, perhaps for lack of an editor to tell me how lousy it is. Anyway, I'm intending to put these accounts of God's faithfulness into my blog site and I hope you'll find them faith-building and encouraging.

Ever since I first read the story of Joseph in Genesis, I recognized my childhood reflected somewhat there. I have four older brothers and sisters and a much younger brother in an unsaved family, and one of my early memories has to do with how my relationship with the older four took a bad turn. I was about 5 when my father came into some money. Before that my parents had struggled along, with many job changes and moves and all of us kids in tow. It seemed like a happy enough life for me all those early years, but with this financial change my father started upgrading his living habits.
Before, my brothers and sisters hardly ever went out to eat at restaurants; now, while they were in school and I was not yet, my mom and dad and I would go out to lunch--every day. I have to say I didn't get that big a bang out of it; I was young and they mainly talked to each other. It became ordinary and I was in fact rather bored. So one day after the older ones came home from school, one of them got the hare-brained idea to ask me what I'd done that day. They were all there hanging on to my every word (I have no idea why). "Oh, we went out to lunch..." I got no farther with my airy and unappreciative manner. "WENT OUT TO LUNCH!?" All of them were indignant, and thus began the Unspoiling of Me. That was my first experience with being not just a few years younger than all those who came along one per year like marbles out of a...well, out of something. I was now also something of an outcast for some time. Just practice for later! Ha.
I used to long to be nearly their age and able to remember their same memories and snicker at their same private jokes. They always sat in the back of our GMC Carry-All and get each other in trouble, pinching, getting each other to laugh or talk when we were supposed to be silent, or whatever. They often lined up outside the truck and got spankings. I didn't--not because I was angelic, but because no one helped me toward that end. I was almost jealous for the spankings. I only remember getting one spanking in my childhood, and my dad was afraid that he'd marred me for life. I don't remember what I'd done but I do remember his surprising remorse.
So last summer when I saw my brothers and sisters again for the first time in years, and they were still reminiscing and snickering, my sister turned to me and said, "I guess you wouldn't remember those things, would you?" I was suddenly aware of a new gladness, thankful for being those few years younger. Because, if I had been right in there with them, I might be still--with them, unsaved, drinking, swearing, smoking, living regrettably and ignoring the goodness of God. I'm all the more relating to Joseph now that I belong to Christ. They really have no use for me now that I have the favor of my Father! Though I'd like to relate to them from my perspective, that is, from faith (and I've tried), I would no longer want to relate to them from their point of view.

1 comment:

Shani said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony and building us readers up in our faith ♥ ! That uplifting is especially valued at those times where it's hard to stay faithful because the worldly people, like your prayed-for siblings in your last paragraph, seem to "have it made". Asaph has that same struggle, and the answer, in Psalm 73. Merry Christmas!
Love in Christ,
See you next year in small group!