Hand-me-down clothes and ABC gum

I grew up the middle-child of three boys. As my memory conveniently (selectively and fallibly) serves me, I “remember” wearing hand-me-down clothes. My older brother received new clothes, and I got his hand-me-downs. I wore them out. My younger brother received new. I am confident my memory is grossly distorted. But, we middle children are prone to believe we have been slighted, sorely neglected, and caught in between the other more loved and favored children. Yep, we can be whiners. Anyway…

Years ago, I worked with two children, a brother and sister, who had been removed from their home because of neglect and physical abuse. The parents did not want them back: the parents were more than okay with the prospect of termination of their parental rights. They eagerly agreed to give their children up for adoption. I heard heart-breaking details of their experiences. When asked about any good or enjoyable experiences, their only reply was, “Sometimes we got chewing gum”. They added, “after mom and dad chewed the flavor out”. That was all they could recount as to good memories. Sad, dreadful, grievous. But, nonetheless, their reality. Though unthinkable for most, to those two youngsters, it was an enjoyable treat.

Considering hand-me-down clothes and already-been-chewed gum, my question: “How much of what you know of the Bible and God is “hand-me-down” or “already-been-chewed”? What have you acquired that is fresh and new by your own efforts and investment? How much have you personally chewed? Have you been wearing what someone else has passed down; are you chewing what has already-been-chewed by someone else? How much of your faith is “hand-me-down” and “already-been-chewed”?

More to follow on the next blog.

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