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Pete’s a Man – A Message from Mom

There are other aspects to Peter than his literary, artistic side.  He completed his Eagle Scout project the day before his car accident.  He had overseen the construction of a chain link fence, along with a timber and mulch perimeter, around our church’s new playground for the younger kids.

He has strong opinions regarding politics. Several weeks ago, he had an intense discussion with his dad that went something like this: “Dad, I don’t get it.  All of these conservative Tea Party people are talking about the possibility of revolution because of the financial situation of the country.  I know that high taxes are immoral and worth a strong backlash.  But I don’t get why we conservatives are so outraged about taxes when we haven’t revolted because of abortion.  Abortion is a much greater evil than high taxes.  I feel like we are being hypocrites.  If we would really revolt about taxes, we should’ve put up a fight years ago over abortion.”  He was pretty much ready to take up arms.

His more level-headed dad reviewed our family discussions over historical wars and the conditions constituting a “just” war: have all other lesser means been exhausted, is it a last resort, can it be declared by a proper authority who would have a just cause, would it put innocent life in danger, would the end be proportionate to the means used, and so on. I’m not sure he changed Pete’s mind on it.

When Peter has faced challenges with school and friends during his high school years, he has assumed an attitude of “what does the Lord want to teach me through this?”  and “how should I grow through this?” On his own initiative, he has registered for several biblical counseling seminars—just to encourage his own spiritual walk and to inform himself for ministry.  He is a biblically directed guy.

He once referred to himself to Doug and me as our “jock son,” (much to Caleb’s objections). He enjoys a sweaty game of pickup basketball with his friends or a round of soccer with the Rock Creek “kids” (ages 5-73) after our Wednesday fellowship meal and prayer.

So when his accident happened, Doug came to us as a family one day.  He told us that though our hearts were breaking, we should resist the temptation to feel sorry for Pete. He told us, “Remember, Pete is a man. We need to think of him as one.” He wrote that day: “I have less temptation to feel sorry for my son, because I have seldom seen him mired in self-pity. He has always been a trooper through tough times, and that makes it easier to see his suffering as a divine calling rather than a horrible tragedy. We are not victims, we are victors in Christ!”

I confess that when I had been visiting his bedside, I had been calling him “Sweetie,” and other such Mom-like terms.  But Andrew took the cue from his dad, “You’re a good soldier, Pete.  Be brave.  We are plugging for you.”

Once after a woman from our church had Peter and some others help her son with a project, she observed Peter’s spirit in the face of slow, not very fruitful labor.  “Peter’s so much like his father,” she said, “. . . quiet, steadfast, tenacious.”  May the Lord give him the tenacity of young manliness now.

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


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