In light of Israel, Paris, and ALL the terror and destruction that is going on right now around the world, I am reposting this newly edited and updated post from 2013…
Rocking him there in the dark quiet my mind races and pictures flash. Sirens, people running, and dead bodies strewn across the ground. And I shake my head as if I can somehow sling these grotesque images from it. Looking down into his fluttering eyes that are growing heavy with sleep I am sickened.
There is something about motherhood that changes you, it makes you both strong and so tender all in the same breath. You love fierce and you run, I mean RUN toward innocence and the preservation of it. At least I do. I want to huddle them down in the dark so that their hearts never have to beat with the pain and devastation this world can bleed. And although you know that it is not feasible, you want to hold onto every ounce of innocence you can, because it is the imprint of the very Christ on them that you see. His beloved fingerprints, holy and pure, that have shaped and molded them. And although we are born separated and sinful there is still just a remnant of innocence, not yet lost from their creation, that seems to remain and radiate from the littlest of these.
My mind continues to agonize, I pray and struggle through thoughts of those who plot out evil and delight in it. I am struck by the chasm that separates this sweet rocking baby slumber and the bombs that blew up in the faces of the innocent. Bombs and Babies- even stacking the words next to one another feels wrong. The chasm there seems so wide and then He reminds me…
The bombers, the terrorists, and the men with guns- those lost in their own despair – started here. In this quiet sleeping rocking place, still wet with the remnant of glory from His hands that shaped and molded their lives. ALL OF US START IN THE SAME PLACE. Not with the same opportunities, or the same love that rocks us close, but with the same empty vulnerability of need.
And then the truth explodes in my heart – like a bomb -like a trumpet and call to rise: Motherhood is the privilege of discipleship.
We, as a society, have discarded this privilege in order to meet our own needs and fill up our own empty souls. We have aborted, cast aside, and labeled motherhood as a burden over a blessing. Even us, the ones who have embraced being a mom, still chase notions of self fulfillment in careers, status, and comparing ourselves and families with others who have it all together. In all these ways we have robbed motherhood of its true treasure and made it seem as nothing. But, motherhood is the place where the filling begins. Not on our own, heaven help us, but through Him and by Him we fill them up with Him because HE IS OUR ONLY HOPE.
We are looking now at scary times and uncertainty abounds. But we are seeing the back end-the results from living lives of lawlessness and self gratification. These are the ones who have gotten away, the thousands who have grown up without the mothers and fathers being there in the quiet place, rocking, singing, filling their lives with truth, hope, and love. It seems so small and insignificant in the moment, but it CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN A LIFE, in where it ends up and if a person delights in evil or rejoices in the truth.
The hard work is done in the mundane, in the routine, in the hidden places- where no one sees you accept Him. In the changing of a diaper, in the rocking of a sick one, in the correcting in love for the hundredth time. It is impossible to quantify or even count, because you can’t see it stacking up in them- this filling.
All you see and EVERYTHING YOU FEEL IS THE EMPTYING OF YOU. But you empty in order that He might fill, and HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL to finish what He begins.
Perfect it won’t be and lots of hard will certainly come, but to disciple your children is the greatest privilege that we have been given, it’s the highest calling. It’s the gospel living and breathing. The things that seem not to matter are the ones that really do. When you do it in the name of Jesus, the band-aids, the dinners, the laundry, and the dishes- they all add up to worship. And worship in spirit and truth always bears fruit.
So many have already missed out, no one is home anymore, and we only get this one small chance to fill them up and disciple their hearts unto Him. There is a time limit to this job – an expiration date so to speak – and so we must be vigilant and purposeful to make the most of everyday as we pour into them. We must seek to see beyond the writing on our calendars, the weekly dinner menus, and the school projects and move towards their hearts. Because it is there that we must mold them, teach them, and give them a solid foundation of truth on which to stand.
Jesus came for the world, but he discipled only a few. He gave quantity and quality to the ones God had entrusted to Him, stewarding their hearts and filling them up. Why do we think it should be any different for us? The God and creator of the universe came down to earth and didn’t fill up stadiums and make a name for himself. Instead washed feet, walked dusty roads, and poured his life out for the least of these. I am sure there were days that felt ordinary filled to the brim with the tasks of life. Days He just got through– making meals, working with his hands, and loving the ones at the table with him.
But there is gold here. His example to us of building the kingdom of God is found in the everyday discipleship of a few.
Mothers, do we hear that? Can we see it? How valuable and important the task is?
How literally amidst the dishes, the laundry, and kissing of bruised knees eternal life can be found and spirits filled. His power is unleashed in the small and He needs mothers. Mothers willing to pour out their own life in the secret place where no one sees. Giving up ourselves as an offering to the Almighty so that babies don’t become bombers and so that His kingdom can come on earth as it is in heaven.