Thursday, September 4, 2014

a letter from a preacher's kid

I'm a bit overwhelmed by the number of letters I've seen lately, letters full of pain and bitterness aimed at "preacher dads." They are letters from PKs who write about never seeing the love of Christ in their home while listening to their dad preach it from the pulpit. They are letters of legalism, punishment, and neglect. The words pour out of wounded hearts, and the damage done to such tender spirits is evident.

Yes, sometimes being a preacher's kid is hard. For all those who were wounded, though, there are others of us who were blessed. Our hearts haven't been hurt, though, so as is often the case you don't hear from us. I don't write to take away from one side, but to perhaps lend my voice to the other. So here's my letter, from one preacher's kid to her father...

Dear Pop,
I know it worried you at times, the question of how your job affected your kids. I'm sure that's common to a lot of dads, but it somehow seems different for a pastor. After all, most dads don't take their kids to work with them on a regular basis. Well, I can't speak for Michael or Sarah, but I can tell you how it's affected me.

It was a strange thing sometimes, being in the spotlight when I hadn't auditioned for a role. There were times when I felt a bit overwhelmed, when it seemed like expectations were being heaped up on shoulders too small to carry such a heavy burden. It seemed like I ws supposed to have it all together, to know how to dress, speak, and act the part of the "perfect Christian." The thing was, I was just a kid still trying to figure out all of that stuff myself.

But that pressure didn't come from you.

From you, I learned that it's not bad to fall under a heavy burden because when you fall the easiest place to get to is your knees. You taught me that what someone says on Sunday isn't nearly as important as how you live the rest of the week. You showed me the importance of looking at everything and everyone through eyes unclouded by judgement or preconceived notions. You also taught me to have the courage to ask the hard questions and the strength to accept the hard answers.

From you I learned that your witness isn't a bunch of words strung together. Instead, it's the way you live your life. I've learned the value of integrity, compassion, and humility.

Being a preacher's kid may have been an unusual childhood, but it was a good one. It was a childhood I wouldn't have traded. It was one in which I never doubted how much I was loved by both my earthly father and my heavenly Father.

So, from one preacher's kid, thank you for following God's call on your life. Thank you for showing me how to live the life of the called, even when it's hard. I love you.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this mandy-
    from a pastor's wife who wonders about her own kiddos and how they will see their amazing but imperfect pastor daddy in the days to come :)


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