Dear Father, hear and bless your beasts and singing birds;
and guard with tenderness, small things that have no words.
There is nothing hidden about the harsh terrain of our world today.
There are beasts and there are singing birds.
How do you muster up the pace and the space or the good beats of the heart to pray into the light and the dark?
I’m raising little people in a world that’s loud and painted with a whole lot of ugliness.
Turn on the radio, scroll the pages, close your eyes and listen to the sirens.
Shots fired, life lost, cancer spreading, friends cut, tarrifs written, verbal wars, divorce filed, sex skewed, porn numbed, tongues confused, children abandoned, breath hung, leaders divided, beauty cheated, land burning, walls built, prayers forgotten, fears treading, love bated, loose trending, colors masked, hearts hating, a world in waiting…
I don’t think it’s any different than hundreds of years ago, I think the dark has just shifted,
left to change.
Since the fall, we’ve been tirelessly working to catch the light.
Since satan’s pride and Eve ate the fruit and Cain killed Abel
and now, sin, or the result of sin,
is just as selfish and scary and spiraling and silencing.
And now I’m the modern day Ruth, you’re the modern day Ruth
(or Paul or Silas, or any good-seeker reaching for heaven)
and this is our time.
I roll out of bed, every bone in my body closer to the end of my story here.
Am I doing it right, at all?
I stare into the sleepy blue eyes of my seven week old, and I see wonder and a miracle. I hear my two year old cry mommy and he’s ready to climb over the bars on his bed and tackle the day.
Will they be ready for the beasts and the singing birds?
Am I shaping them to pray for both?
The world is full of both.
Every day closes in the dark and welcomes the light.
Am I helping them prepare?
Or teaching them to hide under the covers, like I sometimes want to.
2 Timothy 1:6, ESV
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”
Other translations tell us to
kindle anew, or to put in rememberance
The gift of God that is in us
I have to raise them loud.
I have to teach them to paint with different colors.
I have to mold their hands for cupping all that overflows out of others into their lives.
I have to teach them to pour the leftovers, bow their head, tilt their gaze, keep their palms steadied for all that God will use them for.
I have to teach them how to use their words for strength and not for slaying, to use their hands for kneading and their feet for keeping on.
My oldest son is finding his words. His voice is brave with intention. He strings them together, the deepest parts of him want to be digested, his effort isn’t to go wasted. And if he feels it is, he crys.
To weep like a child again.
I think there’s strength in that too.
The world has become far too comfortable with apathy. Far too familiar with settling. Far too numb to what God has for us.
Far too used to the news.
Too disconnected from the God who lives within us.
Are we running? Are we scared? Are we hiding?
Or have we just forgotten?
It is so easy to spiral down into acceptance of the muck.
The muck is hard. There’s no escaping it.
When I think about my small things, my sweetest blessings, my babies, I plead to God that He would guard them with the most tender parts of His hands.
I feel my fists clench, picturing them held close, protecting them from the dark, stuffing them deep into the farthest pockets of my heart and my day.
But am I shaping them to fear life or brave life?
To see just pretend as a daily verb or to see life as it is?
As I mother them, I pray that God would soften my heart to His. That I learn and discern the difference between protecting them and suffocating them. That their dad and I would find the balance in fanning into flame the freedom in their becoming and the guarding of their hearts.
Their story is light-bearing.
God hasn’t come back yet, for a reason unbeknownst to me.
Babies keep arriving.
I believe much of what they become is on the mothers and fathers.
And not in the way that we keep them within the home, but in how we raise them to see and live and move and breathe outside of it.
So, to my babies, it’s time for the day and catching the light.
Don’t let me dim it.
I love you,