Monday, October 17, 2011

Parenting

“Stop acting like you aren’t hurt. Get over here. Let me hold you. I’ll affirm for you that it’s all going to be alright…” (Matthew 11:28 RSV)

I think I am starting to get pretty old. Not so much in age. Hopefully not so much in looks. But definitely with regards to the intangibles. One of my friends recently pointed this out to me. I was telling him how much I like NBC’s show Parenthood. I was explaining how great the character development is, how it is fairly funny, and how the writer is able to keep up so many different story lines. My friend proceeded to point out the following, “So wait a minute…you drive a champagne colored 4 door sedan, AND watch Parenthood. Wow…”

I thought it was a bit unfair. You’d have thought I was wearing socks with sandals; or ate dinner at 4:30. I can assure you that was not the case. Anyway, I do like the show Parenthood. A lot. I have recently caught up with this season, thanks to Hulu (and the fact that I don’t currently have television at my apartment.) I don’t know all of the details from past seasons, but enough about each character that I am able to pick up with no problem.

One of the main storylines is the relationship between one of the Braverman girls, Haddie, and her boyfriend Alex. Alex is a young man with a bit of a troubled past, to say the least. He indicates things have changed and that he really cares for Haddie. Long story short, Haddie is not allowed to date him, she fights it, moves out, fights with parents, causes a huge rift with parents, is allowed to see him, he wins over the parents. Are we caught up? Even though it’s television, I can’t stand the tension. There is still a clear rift between Haddie and her parents.

In the most recent season, Alex decides he is no longer feeling the relationship. He tries, and he fakes it, but ultimately he ends things with Haddie. She locks herself in her room and acts like nothing has happened.

Isn’t that what we do? When things get hard, when situations aren’t as we planned, don’t we hide away from the world and just act like we’re busy? To show that we are hurting or don’t have it all together would be a disappointment to everyone around us; to the fa├žade of ourselves we have put up for the world to see. We sit in our rooms, put our headphones in and tune out everything else.

But thankfully, Mama Braverman doesn’t give up that easily.

Late in one of the episodes, she knocks on the door. No answer. She knocks again. Nothing. She slowly opens the door to find her child curled up on her bed, listening to music, her cheeks stained by tears.

Haddie takes off her headphones, “Hi Mama…”

A confused dialogue takes places where Haddie wonders and Mom isn’t sure how to answer. She assures her daughter she isn’t the problem; a problem. Haddie sits up and starts to lose it. Her worth, identity, and character have all come into question.

She lunges toward mom and hugs her; tears streaming down her face. Mom wraps up her girl and whispers, “It’s ok. It’s ok, babe. It’s ok.” The camera pans to Haddie’s face, then her mom’s. Haddie. Mom.

Haddie is weeping and wiping her tears on her mother’s shoulders.

The camera pans back to Mom’s face. And while there are a few tears in her eyes, we see something else…

A smile.

While I am sure she struggles with the fact that her daughter is hurting, she loves the fact that her daughter has come to her; that she has sought refuge where she knows she will be safe and loved.

I really think Mrs. Braverman mirrors our God.

I think that while we choose to run away from Him and pursue our own ideas of greatness, good and bad, God keeps knocking on our door.

Keeps wanting to be with us.

And I cannot speak for you, but when I am at rock bottom – discouraged, let down, disappointed, it’s then that I turn to God. It’s then that I am on my knees, confused, wanting to be held.

I think much like Mom here, God doesn’t love that we are hurting, but he is overjoyed that we have come to him. He is ecstatic that we are back in His arms.

The best part of this is that unlike our character in the sitcom, we don’t outgrow our Father’s grasp. It doesn’t matter how big or how old we get.

Not even how old others think we get.