Sunday, March 26, 2006

Louder than words

Today, Sebastian and Jenny came over. They are the 10 and 8 year old brother & sister who live down the street from us. Both of their birthdays were this month and their grandfather had bought them new bikes that they wanted to show us.

Sebastian and Jenny's mom works at one of the dollar stores a few blocks down from us. Her live in boyfriend Pedro works at a local service garage and I think he's learning to be a trucker.

Every time S & J come over, they act fascinated with our life as a married couple and as parents to Agent Offspring (and the yet to be born Agent Offspring #2). They are the ones to bring up the subject, not us. We've discovered that a large framed drawing of Agent Wife and I from our wedding day that hangs in our living room is a huge conversation starter for the young and unfamiliar with marriage. They were asking about fear because all they have ever heard about marriage is how people are afraid to do it. They are fascinated that Agent Wife and I have been together 7 whole years (a lifetime for them and longer than any boyfriend their mom's had). Their mom's boyfriend Pedro seems to be a decent guy. He's not abusive or mean to them. But as a father figure, he's pretty much just a male presence and a pay check. They think it's unusual, but neat that I actually hang out with my wife and kid often.

S & J are also fascinated and in love with Agent Offspring. They so deeply desire younger siblings to help raise. I find that unique and selfless for a kid since most kids want all of their parents attention for themselves.

Exactly one week after we moved into this house (about 3 years ago to this day) The Tiger was helping put up a chain link fence in parts of our back yard. He was 13 at the time and those were the days when he'd be hanging over the gate practically BEGGING me to make him do some manual labor or something. Now he works for a living and smokes cigarettes (which I'm not supposed to know about) so I rarely see him.

The Tiger and his family knew us from the old days at the izzy group's food pantry ministry. He just knew me as that white guy who worked there and I was "hooked up" with that "mexican woman". Agent Wife is not a mexican, though. She has dark skin and hangs out with spanish speaking people so often gets mistaken for one.

While building the fence, The Tiger was trying to "figure us out". He kept asking questions. How long have we been together. What was our names. What was our last names, etc. He didn't know anything about marriage. From his upbringing and world view, a man and woman just "hooked up" and lived together as long as they felt like, I guess. That's all he knew from his mom.

When I told The Tiger my last name and then Agent Wife's full name he paused. Silence. Then he said: "Wow. What are the chances that two people hook up with the SAME last name?".

All this to say...I never knew how to preach about the honor of commitment to others without sounding judgmental. And...I guess for now I don't have to preach with words.

5 comments:

miller said...

fascinating...

and telling i think...

you are a great story teller.

peace

jason said...

You sharing these stories is an excellent ministry. It is an equipping and encouraging ministry without being judgmental. It is paying off in stimulating me for obedience to the CEO.

And I was reminded of a story. Before I was married I had a roommate who couldn't believe I planned on being a virgin until I got married. He was laughing at me for being so naive and apologetically swearing that I would definitely fail.

I was a virgin when I got married, but unfortunately I lost my relationship with him in large part because I didn't know how to react with his "foreignness" to Christian values. But reading your blog is preparing me for future relationships with the lost.

Agent B said...

Wow. Thanks for the encouragement Jason. It's just fun to write and share. Had no idea there would be a positive effect on anyone reading...

After seeing these kids and many others over our 7 year marriage, I'm convinced that deep down in kids' heart or something lies a huge desire to have a healthy and/or stable home life. They want it bad, even if they don't know what one is or looks like.

The other day Agent Wife ran into a teenage girl we knew from years back at a food pantry we worked at. She was a little girl when we originally knew her. So she asked about me and Agent Wife said "he's at home cleaning the house". And the girl was shocked, saying, "so...did you have to make him (ie: threaten) clean?". Funny.

We don't have the most perfect marriage in the world, but I think it's the closest one most of these kids have seen.

Anonymous said...

AgentB:

Stunning. That is so amazing. I didn't know somebody could get through life to the teens without having even a conception of a married couple. Your story really brightened my day - its good to know that those kids are getting a taste of Kingdom life.

-Trey

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