Thursday, April 13, 2017

When it Seems like No One is Listening

Some days I wonder if anyone is listening to me at all.

Like on Maundy Thursday, today, which we talk about after dinner, because we are trying to all understand a little more about Holy Week and how Jesus' life took Him to the cross and death and then back to life again. 

I'm asking our four kids who are living in our home a few questions about what happened in the Upper Room that Thursday before Good Friday, and they are trying to answer what they can with their ever-growing knowledge. 

Much of the time I feel like I'm the Charlie Brown teacher in my kids' lives; I try to choose carefully my words so I'm not just always talking, talking, talking ... but as a mom, I feel the need rising in my chest for all of the words I've been storing in my heart to come out in words from my mouth. 

I want them to know the deep, deep love of Jesus. I want them to feel the care and love dripping from his words and his actions as He washes their feet just before they eat the Passover feast together. 

I want them to feel in the depths of their soul the love of a King who comes to wash His people's feet. 

But one of them is singing a song about seagulls.

And another is sinking his fork into his taco bowl like a missile.

Yet another is cheeping like a baby chick.

And the last of the four, well, she's tiiiiiired ...

I read from John 13 anyway. 

I ask the best questions I can to help them understand for themselves what's written.

They answer.

And then they devolve ...

I close my bible, smile at them and resign to giving the time to God for use use in their hearts because they've heard it but they haven't truly heard it, I'm pretty certain. 

It often feels like these times I spend taking them through the life of Jesus are all for naught. 

At the end of the day most days, I decide, they only have ears to hear His love right now by listening to the way we serve with our own two hands and the words we speak in remembering His patience and kindness and love. And the way this kind of understanding of love soaks in is much akin to water spilled over on a flooded river bed ... it takes time, so much time. 

Tonight is one of those nights. I resign to sharing God's love with a gentle closure of His word and helping the kids take care of their chores and little bodies at bath time. This is not my former way. Several years ago I would have gotten frustrated and left the room sorta huffy. God has been gracious to me, and I've grown in understanding grace and love. So I muster all I can in these moments of disappointment to submit to the power of His love and just move on in love ... 

My two youngest decide to put on swimsuits and get into the bath together. They are most often like oil and water and occasionally like peanut butter and jelly. 

Sometimes they mix well; sometimes they don't, and I often don't know which way it will go. 

They are disagreeing about quite a bit during their bath adventure but I sit back and let them try to work it out. 

I move to the next room when it gets rowdy and sit on my bed while they laugh and squabble a great deal.

And then I hear my youngest boy say to his little sister, "hey, hold still; I'm trying to wash your feet ... "

She replies, "you mean when Jesus did for his siples {disciples}?"

"Yeah," he says. "So don't splash me or I can't get your feet washed."

"Ok," she resigns. "After you done I gonna wash yours."

They talk for a few more moments as they wash each other's feet, and I sit on my bed silenced and humbled and stilled.

Because a few thousand years later, in the midst of waiting to celebrate the greatest miracle of all, I am witness to one in my bathroom with my two small children, who, it turns out, were listening after all. 

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