Learning to love back

We all got up at 10 for church. Sam has to go to church with me every two weeks, and his friends often tag along. They don't hate church, because no one is making them go. They are actually all believers, too, cool guys, who sometimes pray. One of them prayed with us when we were caught in a snowstorm on a ski trip. I know Sam believes that Jesus is true -- why wouldn't he be? Still, he mocks me for being a Jesus freak, even though in the middle of the night when he can't sleep, he wakes me up for prayer and a backrub.

But he hates church.

So why do I make him go? Because I want him to. These are bewildering, drastic times we live in, and a little spiritual guidance never killed anyone. And I think it's a fair compromise, that it's only every other week. Also, I make him go because I can -- I wrote a piece about this years ago, about why I made him go to church, and this was the main reason. And I still can. He has no job, no car, no income. He's basically a freeloader. He needs to stay in my good graces.

I love him more than life itself, but while he lives at my house, he has to do things my way. Also, I think there are worse things for kids than to have to spend time with people who love God; teenagers who do not go to church are also adored by God, but they don't get to meet some of the people who love God back. Learning to love back is the hardest part of being alive.

(excerpt from "Because I'm the Mother" by Anne Lamott)

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