“Not Even Close”: A Letter to West Franklin

“Not Even Close”: A Letter to West Franklin May 21, 2022
West Franklin Family,
This week has me thinking a lot about momma’s. All of us have or have had one. Many of you are a momma. In May we celebrate mom’s. This month, I also get to celebrate my own mom’s birthday (17th) as well my wife’s (who is a momma) on the 13th. In addition, I get to see how my wife – as a mom – celebrates her firstborn child on his birthday every May (18th). Yes, I have been thinking a lot about momma’s.
Two of our own lost their momma’s this week. Chip Bower’s mom (Judy) passed away last Sunday (15th). You might know Chip as one of the hard-working and smiling men wearing bright orange shirts on Sunday morning as you park your car. Jonathan Hackett lost his mom unexpectedly on Tuesday night (17th). The Hackett’s are new to West Franklin. You’ve probably seen Jonathan on Sunday chasing one of his four young children. As I’ve spoken with both men, I can’t help but wonder what my emotional state will be when I get the phone call about my mom. As Mike Glenn rightly says, “Nothing turns you into an 8 year old boy quicker than hearing that something is wrong with your momma.” So true.
West Franklin also has nearly a half dozen momma’s scheduled (or are being scheduled) to dedicate their children to the Lord during one of our Sunday morning services.  Yes, the daddy’s will be there too. But we all know who’s coordinating the details.
Nick and Lindsay Gordon learned this week they are expecting a little girl in October.
Add to all this the firestorm in the news regarding the Roe v. Wade opinions. Oh my.
I have been thinking a lot about momma’s.
For the passed six years, Katie and I have been transfixed by NBC’s This Is Us. We kind of have to. It’s about the Pearson family after all. If you’ve been watching, you know what an emotional roller coaster it is. If you haven’t – spare yourself and don’t start. It’s good and I love it, but good grief does it tug at every heart string I have. There’s only one episode left. The most recent show included the final hours of the matriarch – Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore). As she mentally replays people in her life she’s known, one scene really caught my attention. During this scene, she reflects on how many times she failed as a mom. She wishes she could go back and redo some things. At that point, the character she is speaking with assures her that no parent pitches a perfect game. “Not even close,” he says. I love that. He doesn’t try to correct her. He doesn’t try to absolve her failures. He agrees with her. And yet, in the agreeing, it seems to bring relief. It’s as if she knows – deep down – that what matters isn’t trying to get it perfect. What matters is the love she has/had for her kids and that they have for her. It is beautifully ironic that while she was struggling with her failures (mentally), her children were at her side expressing deep love as she breathed her last. They never once thought of her failures. Only the love.
I’m not sure what is prompting me to write this. I guess it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about momma’s. If you’re a momma, here’s what I want to say: you can relax. You’re gonna fail. No one pitches a perfect game in parenting. “Not even close.” But your kids don’t care if you get everything right. They, like you, just want to be loved.
While I’m at it, let me try to encourage anyone reading this (momma or not). You too can relax. You’re gonna fail. You aren’t gonna get it right. “Not even close.” It’s part of the deal called life. But the Father isn’t looking for a performance out of you to get His approval. He simply wants you to know how loved you are. And what He wants out of you isn’t sinless perfection. He wants your love. Your trust. Your reliance.
We’ll look at this a little closer tomorrow with my Bible open to 1 John 1:8 – 2:2. Oh, and by the way, you don’t want to miss tomorrow. Baptism. Lord’s Supper. Baby dedications. Graduate Recognition. Singing. Preaching. Praying. One another. Tomorrow will not be dull. “Not even close.”
Grateful for momma’s,
Pastor Matt

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