Two blog posts, well, really a post and a series, have inspired me to think about limitations.
I heard those groans.
We don’t like limitations.
Physical, financial, time-related or whatever, we chafe at limitations. We chafe at the clock at work. Chafe at lack of resources to to what we want, or perhaps what we want as fast as we want. Chafe at the line at the bank. Chafe at the laundry. Chafe at the housecleaning, the meal planning, the meal prep. Chafe at cleaning up the kitchen only to use it all over again in a few hours and clean it up all over again. Chafe at the dog who wants in only to be let out… and in… all over again (okay, so that one’s all me maybe 😉 ).
Last night I watched as my small son stood solemnly at the communion rail and received ashes on his forehead. Of course, he doesn’t yet know what it all means, but then, sometimes I don’t know what it all means either.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
I don’t want to remember that he is dust, that this beautiful child I brought into the world is dust and frailty.
I don’t want to be dust either. I want to be… more.
And as I sit here in the twilight of an impossibly warm February day, this first day of Lent, it’s hard to think of dust.
I read somewhere that children love their parents because they are basically programmed to love their parents. I mean it makes sense, I suppose, from an evolutionary standpoint that children love their parents so that their parents will take care of them and so forth.
And something about this appealed to me at the time, being a cynical, wounded adult, reading these thoughts from another cynical, wounded adult.
But I realized today that they were really quite wrong.
Children love because it is their nature to love. They love because they were created in the image of God, and as little tiny people, not very long in this messed up world, that part of the image of God is still more or less intact. So my son loves me and he loves his daddy and he loves his puppies and he loves his kitties and he loves people who “get” babies and speak their language and he just… loves.
He doesn’t love me because of what I do, in his world, he loves me and I love him and of course I take care of him because I’m mama and that’s what mama’s do is take care of babies and I think it’s safe to say that it has never occurred to him that it can be otherwise.
Which is why I feel like dirt when I get frustrated with him, or rather, get frustrated that his needs, which are many as he is still very dependent on me (obviously!) completely block at times my ability to do what I need (like sleep!), and I get frustrated and he gets confused because he doesn’t understand, but then I feel better and he just goes right on loving me like nothing happened, and I feel more like dirt because I feel like I don’t deserve it.