And He was transfigured before them: His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light. Matthew 17:2
Mason and I have one of those push and pull relationships. We’re deeply connected, but we also butt heads, a lot. He’s a sensitive soul who is deeply effected by EVERYTHING.
The plus side of that is: he feels for others and, therefore, doles out love like candy. The minus side of that is: he is devastated over the smallest of things (even when I ask him to power down his iPad mid-game!). This double-edged sword has been one of the greatest challenges in my motherhood for a while now.
Usually they’re just fun and games, from start to finish, with a prayer tacked on at the end of the night. But this past Wednesday was completely different.
Apparently youth night was packed with a lot of deep and meaningful conversation. Mason came home with several handouts to prove it. They were about Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer, and a list of saints and what they are patrons for. Mason couldn’t wait to share them with me. More than his enthusiasm about the handouts, though, it was what happened at bedtime that impressed me the most.
I’ve already shared, countless times, that I’m a terrible mother at bedtime. Knowing I have an awful attitude at that time of day, bedtime is not my time to pray with my kids. Instead, we pray as we drive in the car (and seeing as we are always in the car, we end up praying together, A LOT).
However, that night, I saw Mason drop to his knees beside his bed. He didn’t draw any attention to himself, but my eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to him. He seemed to transfigure before me. It’s like he had an instant connection to God, grace radiating out of him. The air became electric, and seemed to shimmer. I felt such a sense of peace and relief wash over me as I looked at him, and I wasn’t even the one praying.
That image remained seared into my mind for days. Without even closing my eyes, I could picture Mason kneeling beside his bed, head bowed, and the air shimmering. I knew why it brought me peace: Mason’s body and face were so calm and serene, the feeling was contagious. But I wasn’t quite sure why I felt such a sense of relief.
Then it occurred to me: God’s got this. No matter how many times and how many ways I screw up with Mason, if I can just lead him to God, he’s going to be fine. Whether I’m teaching him to pray, or Zach the youth minister is, whoever, whatever, I just need to keep putting these opportunities in Mason’s path, and then hand him over to God.
At the end of the day, if all I’m able to do is help Mason feel God’s deep and unconditional love, I will have succeeded at motherhood. Because, at the root of it all, that unconditional love is what sustains us, consoles us, and inspires us. It really is the whole meaning of life!
Questions For Reflection:
* Do I feel like I’m supposed to get it right with my kids, all the time?
* If so, does that feel like too much pressure?
* Do I want to lead my kids to God for what they need?
* If so, are there opportunities outside my home that will help with that?