Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nate At Night

I'm blessed with many great relatives. This devotional from December 4, 2013 is about one of them.
On Thanksgiving evening, I saw Nathan in a whole new light. My nephew, the son of my brother Scott and sister-in-law Karen, Nathan graduated from Harding University last spring with a degree in psychology. He's the only baby I ever held on the day of birth and there is a picture somewhere to prove it although I am pretty sure he doesn't remember the event. At that time, Scott and I were teaching and coaching together at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tennessee. In keeping with my social science degree, I was certified to teach psychology and it was a course I loved to teach. (If you knew our dad, a clinical psychologist, this would make sense.) When we came to a section on early childhood development, I asked Karen if she could bring Nathan, who was several months old, as a class project. I would teach and everyone would be required to hold him. There was only one squeamish student, a 6'4'' basketball player named Blu Fowler. I practically had to force Blu to hold Nathan but once he did, he didn't want to pass him on. The picture of the two of them made our school yearbook.

At the end of that academic year, Scott took a job at Wichita Collegiate School in Kansas, teaching and coaching with our other brother, Dave. I saw Nathan once or twice a year, usually at Christmas and sometimes in the summer. (My favorite line in the book I wrote came from Nathan when he was roughly ten. After receiving his tenth Pokémon related gift from under the tree, my nephew enthusiastically proclaimed, "This is what Christmas is all about!") But now, he's all grown up and in the adult world and prefers to be called Nate. That brings us back to Thanksgiving. Nate is in the process of getting into grad school to work on his Masters. In the meantime, he's joined the work force and like many, had to report for duty on Thanksgiving evening. Nate is employed by Sears in a mall and he sells mattresses. Scott says he is doing well and has earned several nice commissions. I need a new camera and braved the crowds with Dave's in-laws, Paul and Trudy, to see if I could find one on sale. (NO LUCK!) While we were in the mall, we ventured into Sears to say hi to Nate. He was dealing with customers when we approached and he didn't see us at first. I was so impressed with the way he carried himself as he helped the two young ladies with their transactions. Since we were there already, Paul and Trudy and I signed up for the Sears' shopping rewards program through Nate which hopefully will enhance his evaluation. I'm already sold- Nate deserves a promotion!

It's not always easy viewing someone as an adult when you babysat for them as an infant. We all know relatives who see us as perpetual children no matter our chronological age. Others allowed us to grow up- we have to grant that same respect to the next generation of our kin. I have it easy. When you read the Old Testament, you will discover that David, king of Israel, had all sorts of problems with brothers Joab, Abishai, and Asahel and particularly Joab in dealing with issues surrounding his army and government. And who were these three young men? The sons of a woman named Zeruiah who just happened to be the sister of a man named.............. King David. That's right- David was caused all sorts of grief by his nephews. Not me- my nephew is terrific! And do you know who Nathan was in the Bible? Nathan was the prophet who confronted David about his adultery with Bathsheba. David even named one of his sons after Nathan. My brother and sister-in-law followed the king's example. Nate won't be at Sears all his life but he's learning lessons which will help him help others. There will be a long line waiting for his services.

Applicable quote of the day:
"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."
Stacia Tauscher

God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1
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