Sharing stories of leading faith at home

by Guest Writer, Pastor Susan Tjornehoj, Baltimore
Soon-to-be Interim Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, MN
(Continuing our stories from our readers on Faith at Home – part II)

No matter how old you are, you just never stop parenting, ever.

Look at Mary, Jesus’ mom. There she was at a wedding feast telling the guests to listen to her son. You know the ending of the story; water becomes wine and the party is still going. And the first Good Friday? Enough about that. You get my point. Pandemics don’t change that dynamic; they only intensify it. Parenting never ends.

My “baby” is 27, nearly 28, a third-grade teacher and completed her Master’s degree less than a week ago. 1,107 miles separate us, but who’s counting? The virus kept us apart for months and still does. My heart hurts because of the distance and rages at this unseen air-borne killer.

Since March when she began teaching twenty-seven squirrely 8-year-olds remotely, we have been taking daily walks together. 10,000 steps-worth. We agree on the time, put on our shoes, plug in the earbuds and we’re off. For about an hour each day we talk, share fears and anxieties, recipes, we gasped at the decimation of another man’s body, but often the conversation was just an excuse to be together.

Since we began, an osprey couple has birthed this year’s brood and they are now on their own, the nest awaits next year’s romance. Spring’s early buds are now full-fledged flowers and fruit and the talk walks continue. Yesterday she lamented, “Mom it’s been 129 days.” What?! It’s been 129 days since I saw my students.” Today we are working around an uncharged phone (those twentysomethings!) and an appointment with a personal trainer (that’s me) while dodging a heat index of 100+ for the past week.

Pandemics and parenting only make the heart grow fonder. There is a sacredness and holiness about this bond which cannot be broken and for that I am deeply grateful.

We invite you to share your own story in the comments below.