In the middle of today’s blessed chaos, as I hustled past the patio door with a pile of dirty laundry toward the washing machine, I caught a glimpse of my two maniac midgets squatting in the Summer sun, deep into their little action figures and their wild imaginations. I blew the messy strands of hair off of my sweaty forehead and stopped in my tracks, lowering the load of dirty laundry several feet short of its destination.
“Stop. Be still. Look at this.” I heard HIM say
On our messy patio, butt-naked with their clothes tossed in a pile of mud and bark-dust, two tiny brothers playing the day away in the sunshine…completely shielded from the stresses of life. An involuntary smile crept across my face and I felt their stress armor beginning to cover me as well. Lord knows I needed it – what with Dee Dee’s volleyball tryouts, Boo Boo sneaking out the other night, D’Lo being so dang grumpy from all this prednisone, and the pressure of back-to-school expenses.
“Stop. Be still. Look at ALL of this.” I heard HIM say again
And it was clear. How grateful am I to be here – in this time, in this country, in this neighborhood, in these schools…with this family? So, so very thankful. The clarity is that my stress isn’t really…well…stress. Dee Dee will either make the varsity team or she’ll make the JV team – but I don’t have the everyday concern about her genitals being mutilated or having her education denied her due to her sex. Boo Boo may be pressing his luck and definitely disrespecting us as he tries to spread his little wings – but this young Sparrow of ours will never have to fear being turned into a child soldier who has to kill his own parents during a war on his own country’s soil. D’Lo may be grumpy from this prednisone - but he has medicine and doctors who make him smile…and water, and food, and healthy parents to wrap him in their protection. While my worries are many that hair, clothes, backpacks, and shoes won’t be just right for the first day of school – I am aware of the little ones who don’t have any of those things…or even a school.
No civil war, no genocide, no famine, no watching my children die because simple and everyday medicines aren’t available in my area, no homelessness, and no walking thirty miles to get my kids one drink of water and having to bury one along the way.
No constant concern for the mere survival of my family.
I stopped. I stood still. I looked at all of this…
And I was all of a sudden thanking HIM for my stress.