Saturday, March 6, 2010

Taking Shelter

I awoke on the morning of my 30th birthday, caked in pillows, from a long and uninterrupted sleep, to a schmorgasboard of my favorite things: among them, Dutch, a stack of newspapers and books, steaming hot tea, fresh-baked croissants, and a crackling fire.

This morning - and every morning this week, in fact - offered quite the contrast... Two sick girls meant that Dutch and I didn't get one single solid night's sleep. Last night Audrey ambled into bed with me somewhere between three and five; when she arrived, Evangeline was already there.

When I awoke my pajamas were caked in all manner of unmentionable substances, I couldn't see or feel my right arm, and getting out of bed required what I imagine to be the willpower equivalent to thrusting my bare feet through a pane of glass.

Someone once said that, for the Christian, the most important word is not "faith," "hope," or "love," - but endurance. This morning, I agreed. When I mentioned this to Dutch he was more skeptical. "Love is of supreme importance for the Christian," he said. "But you can't consistently put others above yourself if you haven't developed endurance. Endurance is the method by which we maintain and enlarge our faith, hope, and love. We endure in faith, hope, and love."

I sighed. You may be able to accuse the man of many things, but theological imprecision - or flippancy - is not one of them.

And so I will continue to remind myself, when I feel my well of patience going dry, when my back is sore from toting babies, and my brain almost numb from the words, "Mommy, I need you!" of Christ's response to His disciples when they had been arguing with each other about which of them was the greatest. "If anyone wants to be first," He says, "he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

Jesus took a child into His arms and continued, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

How heartening it is to consider that when we serve our children - any child for that matter - we are serving the Lord Christ Himself! In this light even the most mundane and miserable tasks are transfigured into something beautiful.


abbyjo said...

Such an artistic picture of you! Gorgeous.

Lindsay said...

I'm right there with you girl!! My kids have been sick for weeks and it's getting REALLY old. Hang in there!

小年夜 said...