Archive for February, 2012
Nothing has revealed my sinfulness and need of a Savior like being a mom. Parenting my children showed me aspects of myself that I never knew were there–and didn’t like much! I never knew, for example, that I had a problem with anger until I had kids. In my teacher-life, I’d had plenty of students that pushed my buttons. But never the way my 2-year-old or 10-year-old children could.
Maybe that’s why I was so struck by one of my Lenten readings this week from Walter Wangerin’s Reliving the Passion. Wangerin points out that one of the reasons for reliving the Passion of our Lord during Lent is that it helps us to see our sin. He talks about how his relationship with his wife becomes a mirror in which he can see, when he sins against her, the suffering his sin has caused. A mirror that hides nothing and breaks through his denials and excuses. He calls it a mirror of dangerous grace.
That’s what my family is to me. My husband—and especially my children—are mirrors of dangerous grace. When I put self ahead of them—or even them ahead of God, a subtle but tempting idol—I see in their faces and behavior both my sin and its consequences. I see my desperate need of a Savior. A Savior Who actually chose to bear the consequences of my sin (while my kids, of course, had no choice).
When I apologize to my children, as I’ve had to do countless times, and receive their forgiveness, I am reminded of my need to confess to God and be forgiven. And I learn what the freedom of forgiveness feels like.
I’m also reminded of my constant, daily, moment-by-moment need of Jesus. Recently my daughter, the mother of a 3-year-old and 6-month-old, posted on her Facebook page: “My needs today–sweat, coffee, Jesus.” A friend commented: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Two moms who know what their deepest needs are. Sort of a “severe mercy” (borrowing from C. S. Lewis) that we receive by being a mom.
I suspect the words will haunt me throughout Lent: dangerous grace. Dangerous because I see my sin in all its awful reality and realize that (Was it Luther who said this?) “We carry His nails in our pockets.” Grace because He came. He died. He rose again. He forgives. He lavishes His grace upon us. He grows us all the way into Glory.
It snowed this week in Wisconsin. Normally not an unusual event here. But we’ve had little snow so far this year. So when I woke up yesterday morning with a winter wonderland in my back yard, it took my breath away. All the dreary, shabby winter had been covered with pure, sparkling snow.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Thank you, Jesus, for mirrors of dangerous grace. Thank you that I can say with the Psalmist: “wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)
Today at our Mom to Mom we hosted the very first, “Ask a Titus 2 Mom.”
Over the past few weeks, the moms have been submitting questions that they wanted us leaders to answer. With the young moms gathered in chairs positioned in a semi circle and the leaders’ chairs positioned on the stage, we told the young moms that the chairs onstage were for the experts who had all the answers. Therefore we would not be sitting in those chairs. Then we leaders took seats right in front at the moms’ eye level.
We met them as a group of “older” moms who are further along on the journey and willing to share our strengths and weaknesses, things that have worked for us and things that haven’t. The only thing we could say definitively and totally agreed on is that God has been and will continue to be faithful, and that He promises to give us wisdom when we ask Him. The questions asked and the answers shared were honest, loving, and from the heart.
Both moms and leaders agree it was a good day at Mom to Mom.
—Saundria, in Tennesee