Having a daughter who’s a Presbyterian pastor is a mixed blessing. You might have thought it was all misty-eyed pride, but that’s not so.
On the one hand, she’ll say something like, “All of you baby-boomer pastors should retire and make room for us younger pastors to move up.”
I mean, really, it’s hard to disregard a comment like that when it comes from your own daughter. With other young pastors, I could simply pretend that I didn’t hear, that something was wrong with my hearing aid, maybe. When your own daughter says something like that, you kind of have to respond.
What she’s saying, I know, is that it’s time for my generation, which to her and her pastor-friends has failed abysmally, to move along to make way for her generation of bright-eyed, energetic, dynamic, clear-thinking friends, who are ready to take the church to new and unprecedented heights.
But then, just when I’m ready to encourage her to find another career path, I’ll read her blog one morning and find that she’s articulated some important truth about the life of faith that, after more than thirty years of trying, I’ve been unable to do. And not only that, it will be so good that I’ll decide to post it on my own blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
This morning, for example, I saw that my daughter had written something on her blog about church members who toil away without recognition, who do tedious and monotonous work without a penny in compensation, and who (generally) ask for nothing except a thank you.
She said it in such a thoughtful, caring way, and she even quoted a lovely bit of scripture (1 John 3), that her words took my breath away.
That’s my kid, I thought. She’s got a pastor’s heart. And I’m so proud, even if she does think I should retire and get out of her way.