Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crocodile Tears

As parents, we're at the point now where we don't jump immediately when Liam cries.  This is because we've come to know the difference between an urgent cry and a pretend one.  Crocodile tears, you see, don't fool us anymore.  :)

It feels good to be at this relaxed state of parenthood, and we worked hard to get here, you know; so, we're enjoying the view.  Yes, we're sitting pretty, where we arrogantly claim to know exactly what our child is thinking and needing.  And we know when we can ignore him, at least briefly.

But I can't get something out of my mind.  Aside from this dangerous arrogance (and the fact that I've learned that arrogance always precedes a fall), there is something else that whispers into my ears a word of Caution.

Here's the background story:

Sarah is this girl I met at the Great Cloth Diaper Change.  She's a devout Catholic, wife, mother, and teacher.  And her method of parenting can be boiled down to this one defining question of discernment:  "How would the Blessed Mother respond to the Baby Jesus?"

It's a question that my conscience now raises often throughout the day.  And it makes me realize that my vocation--at least for right now--calls me to serve Jesus in His infancy.

This means I'm not responsible for a group of students in a CCD class.  I'm not a Sunday lector.  I'm no longer leading a young adult ministry.  I'm not even called to help plan vacation Bible school this year.

These, you see, are some of the former ways in which I used to serve Him.  But they're not what He's asking of me right now.  Instead, I'm called to serve Jesus in His infancy through the care I give to my son.

It's a hidden life, a quiet one.  There are no principal observations, quarterly reviews, or salary increases.  There's no immediate visible reward for a job well done, nor is there a warning issued if you're starting to slip up.  How well or poorly I do in this regard is known and seen only by God right now.

So whether Liam is crying for a diaper change or to be straightened up after a little tilt-over, I'm called to respond.  With joy.  With love.  With tenderness.  And with all the traits of Our Blessed Mother that I could possibly muster.  That order is a tall one. 

With that said, I must close.  My little Jesus needs me.  And I need Him just as much.