Not the home of days gone by, filled with children's jostling laughter, school project deadlines, and piano practice. Instead, in moments like these, the walls seem to speak the memories in quiet whispers, mere echoes of those busy days . . . all the more dear to me now.
Part of me is grateful for the silence after a somewhat hectic week of playing with small grand-boys, cuddling a new-born, cooking for a crowd, savoring laughter and conversation with my daughters, son-in-law, and even some new friends, trying to sleep in a strange bed, and driving miles to and fro. Good times. Yet, a part of me grieves. As I put things away, the stillness serves as an ever-present reminder of how life has changed. Time has slipped through my fingers, as time is prone to do . . .
And yet, I come home to more than silence, for I somehow bring my children's concerns with me. I carry their uncertainties, their fears, their everyday challenges. With intention, I recall our late-night conversations and their whispered what-ifs . . . our acknowledgment that control is an illusion and there are few guarantees and that our only hope is trust in a great big God who lovingly writes our life stories with purpose, even when it makes little sense to us now. I treasure these conversations. Both their concerns and victories matter to me.
I am their mother, after all.
Can you relate?
I've grown to appreciate the practice of Job, who brought each of his ten children before the Lord in prayer on a regular basis (Job 1:4-5). Although not a parent in the physical sense, Paul wrote about the deep concern he felt for all the churches, i.e. his spiritual children (2 Corinthians 11:28). Another first century Christ-follower, Epaphras, wrestled on behalf of the early believers in his prayers, that they would "stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God" (Colossians 4:12).
We're not alone in our care for the circle God has entrusted to us. Yet, I find a bit of tension between concern for others and focusing on what God has given me to do. These three questions help me better sort it out:
- What is my role?
- What role do others play?
- What is God's role?
So, what is my role? To daily (and often) bring each one to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), to cheer them on, to initiate as appropriate, to be available . . . to love them as only a parent can . . . and to believe in them.