I stand beside the river in the blazing cold morning sunshine, with a dead phone in my hand and an unasked for deep rich silence encircling me…. inviting me…. drawing me deeper.
“Come Away with Me ….”
Only 30 seconds earlier I had been on a walk AND on a group zoom call (via headphones and my phone). The zoom call consisted of a group of peers I love and esteem, and I was fully committed to our meeting as we continued to learn and pray together…
…. until my phone battery went dead. Suddenly. Without notice or warning. The abrupt zoom-exit leaving me feeling bereft and a little guilty.
I had a favourite prayer, a long time ago, which included the line:
“Let me not run from the love you are offering me”.
Because, you see, I want God’s blessings, I want to experience God’s goodness. I do, truly, desire intimacy with our amazing God. And yet I can find myself running from Him, running from the very activities and conversations and places that will lead to the encounter I desire. Sometimes I do not allow myself to receive the blessings that God is lavishing upon me. It is almost like I have a closed fist that is incapable of accepting a gift.
“Crying is a good thing. Welcome the meltdown. Help your child feel safe enough to look beneath their anger to their softer emotions”
My husband and I are listening to an online parenting course. Learning about emotional regulation (of ourselves and our children) as a necessary precursor before attempting to guide our children’s behaviour…..
There is a lot of fear around these days. I can almost see it sliding into my home, squeezing through the window-frames.
And one of fear’s tricks is to make us see other people as “the enemy”, when really it is fear itself we need to battle.
You know this already, I know you do. And I know it. So, if we all know this, why does it keep taking us off-guard? And we know that God does not leave us defenceless, that “perfect love drives out fear” and that Jesus is constantly inviting us to “not be afraid”.
I am slowly waking up and pottering around the kitchen setting the table for breakfast. I have half a half-closed-eye on my children and am asking my daughter if she has “made-bubbles-with-her-hands” yet this morning. (We are doing well on the whole “going-to-the-toilet-independently” thing yet handwashing is still a work in progress).
I try not to push too hard…
“Honey, mmm, I wonder, mmmm, where is the soap?”. It’s too early for me to be able to properly embrace playfulness….
Where is this nearly-3-yr-old of mine? I’m about to go and investigate when I hear her…
Have you ever spent time walking up a long steep hill and longing for the summit? Or gazing at the night sky wishing for the dawn? A map and compass give us information about the terrain we are hiking. A clock (and a Psalm) reassures us that the sun will rise again, eventually.
Our need for orientation, to know where we stand, is very strong. We long for an understanding of the physical or emotional terrain that we are exploring and I feel rudderless, rootless when I do not know what is around the next corner.
A big part of our work as humans is to explore, analyse and describe our experiences, our relationships, our world. We discover landmarks which we then name and mark in some way.
And the people who went before us? The people who smooth out the path in front of us? They help us by making maps for us, by pointing out the landmarks. We gain confidence for our journey by listening to their descriptions of the pitfalls, the hilltops, the success-moments they discovered. And when I’m walking up a steep hill I find it useful to remember WHY I am climbing it. When we look backwards through binoculars, objects look smaller. When we “zoom out” from the close-up, my focus can shift away from myself.
Wouldn’t we love to get a glimpse of the Holy Family as they went about their “morning routine”? To see Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus get ready for their day and look after their home.
How did they go about their normal daily jobs of living as they worked their daily rhythm?
I am confident the Holy Family’s home was filled with love and simplicity and natural beauty. I imagine an inviting home filled with the gentleness of Our Lady. And I am pretty sure that Jesus probably did some regular “age appropriate chores” as the three of them loved together side by side as they went about their daily work of living.