Monday, October 3, 2011

Why bother.

To the untrained eye, it seemed he was sleeping.  He sat sideways on my lap, and his head seemed to rest innocently on me.  His legs dangled down, his shoulders were completely relaxed, and his arms sat limply on each side of him.  His mouth hung open slightly, and his eyes were nearly closed. 

I am amazed at the information this child can gather with nearly-closed eyes. 

The sweet looking blob of child on me was a puddle of trouble-making rebellion.   A tiny twitch of a finger knocked a brother's book the floor.  A innocent repositioning of a small leg removed a shoe.  A scratching of the forehead allowed for a repositioning of the finger of the child just an inch closer to the brother.  A silent fight between brothers over the fingers on one coveted square-inch of the pew.  A lazy stretch of the arm allowed fingers to discover the ribbons of the hymnal and begin stealth tangling.  A slow slouch, slouch, slouch of the child, until I reposition the uncooperative dead weight uncomfortably once more.  Another slouch, slouch, slouch, and I rebel.  The blob makes a thunderous fall off my lap on to the floor.

Will I ever be able to sit in church and give God's Word my full attention?  How can I be expected to do my job if I don't get even this ONE  moment's peace to be fed and encouraged myself?

His floppy troublemaking continued throughout the service.  I tried to listen and pray and manage him all at once.  Each quiet, strategic wiggle amplified my inner grumbling and frustration.  He was so seemingly quiet and passive in body, but in spirit, he dug in heels of loud defiance.

Listening was impossible.  It took all my energy to contain his sin, and stifle my own.  I attempted to pray for him, too.  I did not receive super-strong patience.  He did not submit.

The Divine Service flowed along, with mother and son moving heedlessly along its current.  Soon we were swept with the others to the front, still wrestling, resenting, rebelling.

Body and blood, given for you, mother. 
In the waters of your Baptism, son, Jesus has called you by name and promises to be with you always.

Again, He invaded.  We did not come to Him.  He poured Himself out, allowed His very self to flow down into our messy lives.  On my failings as a mother, on his struggles as a son, Jesus poured out forgiveness, life, healing.  The balm was placed right on the wound.

For you.

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  3. I've struggled with the same lately--selfish laments that I can't hear the Word or "experience" the Divine Service the way I want to with two little wiggly ones beside (or on top of) me. So THANK YOU for the reminder that Christ gives Himself over-abundantly to us!

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