Dear Crass: The crying testimony mom
It is with a heavy heart I write this letter, as I have recently realized that my mother is one of those people who can’t give a testimony without crying.
I recently began timing her, and, on average, when standing before the congregation and giving a “Praise Report” concerning something that has happened in our home, her work, etc. mom begins crying within 5.8 seconds.
I’m 14 years old and I find this to be incredibly humiliating, as all of my friends in the youth group turn around and glare at me, knowing that not only will she be spouting tears soon, she’s not going to sit down and be quiet for at least another 5 minutes (sometimes these testimonies can go on for 30 minutes!).
How can I talk to her about this? I’ve asked my pastor to speak to her, but he told me I should never tell someone not to praise the Lord. Help!
Crybaby in Cleveland
We’ve all been embarrassed by our parents.
Trust me, my dad used to answer the door every day after work only in his tighty whities like it was no big deal (luckily the postman went to High School with him and decided not to press charges). However, when you’re young, these problems often seem insurmountable, so let’s see what I can do for you.
To begin with, you know your mom is going to start bawling her eyes out when she stands up to share, right? Well, the easy answer is to find that this time is a convenient moment to step out and use the bathroom. But that doesn’t fix the issue, really, because you can only make twosies for so long before she sends an usher after you to make sure you’re okay.
To be clear, a part of me wants to recommend that you allow yourself to become such a difficult child those testimonies turn into prayer requests, but that would only subject you to even more public humiliation – and possibly prison time. If that thought has crossed your mind as well, I strongly recommending avoiding such a tactic.
No, to solve this problem we have to get to the root of the problem. I would be willing to wager my entire salary from the Salty Cee (if I ever receive one!) that your mom is actually trying to out-testimony someone else – either consciously or not. It often stems from wanting to show how pious she is, or it relates to personal insecurity. Either way, the only real way to stop it, is to top it.
That’s right. You’re going to have to bite the bullet, and out-testimony your mother until she either a) gets the hint and stops, or b) lets her baby boy shine on the stage for a while.
Sure, it is equally humiliating, if not more so, but once she stops, the threat is neutralized, and you win. Give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? You praise God for stuff He’s done and maybe suffer some giggles from your fellow youth group. Or, maybe the old bat catches on and you get grounded for a few weeks. I mean, life is all about taking risks, am I right?
Hope they record your services!