I gave up the dream of my children bragging about me on the playground long ago.
When I decided to go to seminary I already knew what it felt like when your parent is the preacher because when I was in high school I was a friend of the pastor’s daughter.
She would beg us to please NEVER mention in public what her Dad did for a living.
Like, she cried about his job.
I never could quite understand this, since I thought his job was the coolest job ever, but her vehement protestations stuck with me.
When I decided myself to become a pastor, I confronted and accepted the cold, hard truth: my children would never think what I did for a living was cool. (Of course, now that I am the mother of a 14 year old I can clearly see that nothing in my sphere of influence, including my job, is in the remotest realm of coolness.)
I have already grieved this loss. (Jesus matters more.) Which explains why I was shocked . . . floored . . . flabbergasted! . . . to hear Samuel Butler, age 9, officially inviting me to be a speaker on June 9 at career day at Oak View Elementary School. It would be very cool, he explained, if I could come to his class and explain what it’s like to be a pastor.
What joy! Not only does my kid want me at school with him, he also must have some deep abiding well of spiritual maturity that I somehow happened to miss before now. He’s proud of his church! He thinks professional ministry is cool! Maybe he’ll be a pastor, too . . . !
I expressed my pleasure and surprise and told him I’d be delighted to speak at career day. And just because I wanted to hear that spiritual depth out loud I asked him why he invited me.
“Well,” he said, “I just thought it would be interesting for the class to learn something new. The thing is, nobody in my class even knows what a preacher is.”