We held a small memorial for a little creature whose ability to receive love taught us all a big lesson: to love is to name is to care is to keep. It is to mourn and to cry, too; and it is to continue to create and care about the living and the dying and the not-yet-born.
One does not need to do anything remarkable to be an object of love. One only needs to be that which it is – cat, boy, mom, dad, human, alive.
The point is, parents, we have to realize that we have less and less to do with their holiness when we want Jesus to become more and more important to them. We have to trust God as our kids learn the unforced rhythms of grace because it isn’t a free-pass from anything that hurts them. They will be tested and bested, bedraggled and beat up. This grace school is a school of hard knocks.
Isn’t learning to walk yoked with Jesus the most amazing thing I’ve discovered yet in my own life?
And don’t I want more than anything for my kids to choose this full-abundant-scary-good-life?
Jesus welcomed the children. We all remember that story well. The disciples, men caught up in the ideas and ideals of their man-centered world, wanted to shoo them off into ambiguity, to keep the children unimportant and disposable. But Jesus wouldn’t have it.
We don’t know the names of the children who’s heads rested under the blessing-hand of the Savior. I think this is by design, because we know in hearts that read the message and not just the words of the story that those children are our children.
Those children clamoring to receive the blessing–they are us. You and me.
“Soul love is the soul of all love.” -John Charles Ryle My mother-love is not enough. It comes up short like a too-small quilt, leaving parts exposed. Although I try and tuck and stretch it so, my mother-love, my parent-love is shy of covering them. My children, those most precious souls, walk around with naked parts. Vulnerable. And that’s okay. My tent of mother-love is stretched taught and tied down to spikes pounded deep into the soil of truth, but my kids quickly outgrow its covering. Like a newborn kicks against tight swaddling, my children need to kick and punch and build muscle, and they cannot be carried in my arms. I have to set them down on hard ground. They have to walk, run, jump, explore and play, trip, fall, get up again. They have to live. And I have to love their souls enough to let them. J.C.Ryle goes on to say to parents, ask this question at every turn, “How will this affect their souls? That is the mighty question.” Indeed. Soul love …
“It’s a scary thing to pray for someone to recognize her own need for Jesus,” she confided, “Because you don’t really know what God might allow to bring that about.” I nodded. I agree. And I know from personal experience that it’s not enough to “be on good terms with God”. It’s a comfortable place, the good-terms-position, because it relies on the grace found in the name of Jesus Christ while denying the requisite of the shedding of his blood. It relies on the good nature of God while ignoring his justice. It relies on the morality of ones’ actions and dismisses the whole of the person Immanuel. Because however it happened, whatever it took to place the person of God into a crying, suckling, messy human baby, it didn’t happen so that we could keep grace in our back pockets and face the day to day according to our own wills. God himself submitted his will to the necessary, the vile, the reproachable so that I can have the freedom to choose or deny …