We walked into the store famous for outfitting missionaries with all their missionary needs and suddenly, I felt old. Maybe I'm just feeling my actual age. Surrounded by hundreds of 2-pant suits and sport coats, ties, shirts and expensive shoes, we watched as a salesman picked out several beautiful suits and had my son try them on. It's been so long since my son owned a suit, probably six or seven years. We bought him a tweed sport coat a few years ago. He's worn it every Sunday and never complained once.
The store has everything a young man would need, a young man about to depart on a 24-month assignment, a calling to live away from home and try to bring the message of God to whomever is ready to hear it. It's quite an amazing commitment, an 18-year old leaving home, family and friends, to give his time and talents for others.
Entering that store and watching him try on suits brought it all back for me. I did the same thing 29 years ago, and my mom was with me, and I wonder if she felt the same things I did.
Did she look at me differently as I stood before her in never-before worn clothing? Did she imagine the incredible friendships he'll make, or the humbling hardships that come with the opportunity? Was she proud seeing both the man I was as well as a glimpse of the man I would someday become? Did the whole experience make her feel a little old?
Unfortunately, my mom's no longer with us for me to ask...just another thing I'd love to talk to her about if I had the chance. Well, at least my son will know how I feel. And in 20+ years, maybe he'll feel the same way, too.