Sunday afternoon my mom texted me the featured image to this post. It is a picture of a grandchild of one of their friends. I loved it! It is one of those beautiful Kodak moments that could never be caught in a studio. Makes you appreciate smartphone cameras. We, like no time in history, are able to capture digitally life’s amazing moments.
Well as I looked at the image, I had deep compassion for my parents. They too would have to bear the cost of my call to singleness. All of my parent’s friends have for years had grandchildren to enjoy, show off and love. Actually, most of the people in my life have this joy. The delight of squeals, discovery and life experience. There are rare moments in the life of a child that are experienced by grandparents very differently than parents. But my parents will not be able to have this experience.
My calling to be single has closed the possibility of that chapter in their book. I am compassionate to their plight. It’s not as if I never wanted a wife and children. Who doesn’t want to be normal? But God asked this of me, and I bowed and then embraced it. Though I counted my cost to follow . . . I didn’t consider theirs. When I was young, it was, “Katy, bar the door.” I was going to follow Christ, and had the passion to drop everything and run. A young man can cast off restraint, hell or high water. But as I said, my counted cost didn’t at that time include theirs.
So I asked the Lord for a scripture, and He took me to Ruth. Ruth had to die to her dreams over and over and that included leaving all to follow. First Ruth left her family when she married Naomi’s son. Then she had to again choose to abandon all her people, as well as her country, to follow Naomi to an unknown land.
So how does Ruth’s voyage parallel mine? I hope in the ending. Yes, my parents have had to pay a price for me following where He leads. It must be awkward for them to have to explain me. Of course, people often give me the side-eye too. The American church has no concept of such a calling to celibacy. I asked some friends recently, who have been all around Christendom, if they had ever met someone in the non-Catholic church with a call to be single. They said . . . no.
So what was the reward of Ruth’s choices, and how did it affect her parents? Well, the end of the story is that her lineage yielded to the enthroning of the King of kings. Yes, Ruth, a Moabite woman, is in the direct line of Jesus, and her great grandson was King David, whose throne will never end.
The life that follows Jesus where He leads, and accepts the reproach and misunderstanding, will exalt Him. I believe that I am bringing honor to my parents with the highest reward, one higher than many descendants. I am living a life that bows to His Lordship, a life that gives way to the King of kings.
It is my belief that all of us who follow where He leads, enthrone the King. Whether in a call to being single or to be married with children. It is all about where the Lamb chooses to go in you. As for His choice in me, I rejoice.
I wish that all were as I myself am.
But each has his own gift from God,
one of one kind and one of another.
To the unmarried and the widows
I say that it is good for them to remain
single as I am.
1 Corinthians 7:7, 8
Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word,
but only those to whom it has been given.
For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and
there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are
those who renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The one who can accept this should accept it.”