31 August 2011
ask st francis.
lesson du mois: cute as they are, i am not the sum of my children.
thing is, i know this. i know i've been redeemed at an unthinkable cost, and that it's madness to define my worth by anything outside of who God says i am.
and yet. when my kiddos are freshly-scrubbed model citizens, when they're bright and happy and high-achieving, it's insidiously easy to claim credit. to draw my value from these small, shining people. from my daughter, who pelts down the hall to circle me as tight as her skinny arms will go, crushing me with gratitude for adding lace to her flower girl dress. from my older boys, who don't let a day slip by without entreating me for a game of pit or soccer. z, who counts down the minutes till we can read of dragons and heroes each night.
but what happens when my child scribbles and grabs and tantrums, when at five years old he wields the emotional maturity of eighteen months and suddenly my personal worth won't pile up to a hill of beans?
yesterday was the hardest yet. m screams like the world's on fire if i hold his hand, pushes and flails if i gather him close. i'm mom, the one with those pesky things called limits and expectations and consequences, and he'd much rather seek affection from people who are all fun and no time-outs. and it feels akin to insanity, to insist on loving this small person who will kick my emotional shins all the livelong day, but he needs it and i need it and so we circle through these motions for as long as it takes, bleeding all the way.
Love is not like that, is not like
along that they call
Love; it is not like that, is not
like that desiring-companionship that
they call love; it is not like that, is not
like that desiring-of-one-beautiful
that they call love; it is not like that.
When will they learn that love is not
Ask St. Valentine—he was beheaded
because of love; ask St. Francis—
call him a sissy, but he became
a beggar because of love; ask
all those who know and they’ll tell
Love is not like that; ask Jesus Christ.
for a God who loves me when i kick and flail
for clothes to wash
for nate the great
for mercy, clean and free
for a husband who sees
for floors to clean
to know that the story doesn't end here
* * *
join us at emily's, where grace runs thick.