Monday, July 13, 2009

Some friends have told me that God is especially gracious with mothers of young children. I think it's also in scripture somewhere and I'm fairly certain I've looked it up just to make sure. After all, it seems a little too nice to be a "Christian" bumper sticker. But I begin to digress, and you don't want to hear what I think about most bumper stickers. Suffice it to say I remember having found it and, even if I had not found it, I would know that it is true from experience. (But wouldn't you know I can't find it today!)

While time to be quiet is nearly impossible to come by, I have had a lot of little lessons come to me by way of my kids lately. They're the sort of peeks at real insight that let you know you haven't mastered the lesson yet, but they're just enough to remind you to keep learning. And they cause me to marvel at how vast and intricate the Being who created this place must be.

As you have gathered by now, I live in a neighborhood where people's problems are all too apparent. I know most people's lives are messes. But here, I KNOW most people's lives are messes; it gets broadcast from front porch fights and shown in preschoolers roaming the streets without their parents knowing where they are. Here, the alcoholism is public and I know the moms who do drugs because they don't bother to cover it up very well. The problems many people keep to themselves are public knowledge here. I think there are certainly pros and cons to this out-in-the-openness, having grown up in a place where people keep their issues to themselves. Here I digress again, when I merely wish to point out that sometimes I get overwhelmed by knowing people's business. Sometimes, I'd rather not know and would rather not feel the burden to be involved. Victories are hard won around here and sometimes even when someone wins their own battle, I can become discouraged. I mean, look at all the work that one victory took and then you think that there are people with similar issues living in half the houses around here (the other half are abandoned...) and you know each situation would probably require that much personal effort and that much support from others and suddenly one hard-won fight can seem like small change. You have read me talking from the middle of such sentiment before.

And I have also written of singing to Israel. We sing the song, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." I started singing it to reinforce what he learned in Sunday School one particular day, but have kept singing it every day since. Israel always asks to put certain people's names in the song and it is no small miracle that no matter whose name he brings up, it is true that God has them in His hands. Of course, I have no idea what that means in each case and I could easily become overwhelmed again trying to figure it out. I mean, does He really have the neglected kid in His hands? I suppose if He didn't, the kid would pop out of existence, so God surely has tabs on him. But sometimes it certainly seems from my vantage point that God is uninvolved and I wonder how it is that the One who can keep the whole universe going without planets and galaxies getting off-course can manage to let the affairs of one person's life go so awry. But if God is not the one ultimately holding it all together, who is? Me? Even if I could forget about my own moral failings, the dog hair that collects every day in the corners of my house would cry out that I cannot keep things together. And if I can't control the pet hair population in my living room, surely I can't control weightier matters. So, for all the finger-pointing I might find to do, it is certainly a good thing that I am not God. Things would get awfully hairy. (Sorry. I can't resist a bad pun.)

So it is that I sing this song to Israel every day. And every day it can become an act of faith on my part (unless I'm too busy rushing my child to sleep). I put the names of the kids we know in the song. I put our names in the song. It's my way of letting go and putting us all in God's hands. It's me admitting that, even if I could try to fix their problems or mine by myself, I would likely just create other problems. It's me admitting that, for all my complaining, I really am not the one who knows best. I sing it twice a day to Israel and some days that's not enough. I need reminded constantly, or else I try to hold on to things that aren't mine and get bent out of shape over things I cannot control.

He's got Israel and Eden in His hands.
He's got Judah and Naomi in His hands.
He's got Nay-nay and Schaivon in His hands.
He's got the whole world in His hands.

He's got the mommies and the daddies in His hands.
He's got the grandmas and the grandpas in His hands.
He's got all the little children in His hands.
He's got the whole world in His hands.

He's got the young and the old in His hands.
He's got the rich and the poor in His hands.
He's got the people near and far in His hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.

He's got the moon and the stars in His hands.
He's got the sun and the rain in His hands.
He's got the beginning and the end in His hands.
He's got the whole world in His hands.

He's got you and me, brother, in His hands.
He's got you and me, sister, in His hands.
He's got everybody in His hands.
He's got the whole world in His hands.


the three wise menn said...

summers in south muncie require you to RUN to God...because if not you would pack your things and move away from here...and the idea of quiet Bible reading is often those verses hanging on notecards in my kitchen...but they are the ones that I need on those sort of days anyway....and just to sound extra righteous...the verse about young mothers is in isaiah :)

Lezlie McCrory (and sometimes Pat) said...

So YOU'RE the one who told me that! I thought it was you, but I couldn't remember. I should've are the most righteous person I know. :)

Connie, the daisyhead said...

For several years, that verse was my hope of making it through life with several young children, one of whom was chronically ill.

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.

Isn't that a beautiful picture of the Father?