Dawn’s watery light had just painted the cloudy sky when I settled into my favorite chair with my Bible this morning. I hadn’t wanted to crawl out of bed, but the rumbles of my hungry soul had pushed me from out of the warm covers. I couldn’t face another day on empty. Summer fun may fill our memory banks, but it tends to drain my soul. The constant clatter and chatter, the endless cooking and clean-up, the countless ideas that demand assistance as five creative children forge adventures and plans each day-- all consume more of me than I have to give. (Which, of course, is exactly how God reminds me of my vast need for Him). At risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I’ll just say it: Summer is exhausting.
I was savoring my first sip of coffee and flipping to the gospel of John when I heard the pitter-patter of small feet padding down the hall. My heart sunk as the tousled-haired-head of my four -year- old peeked around the corner. I had already walked him back to bed three times since four A.M. And each time as I'd pulled his blankies to his chin, I’d pleaded, “Just close your eyes and sleep until the sun comes up.”
“Mommy?” He peeked around the corner, his green eyes casting me a hopeful glance.
“Yes,” I murmured while I let the hot steam from my coffee cup warm my cheeks.
“The sun is up.”
I glanced out the window at the luminescent streaks of morning.
“Yes, it is,” I reluctantly agreed.
A relieved smile spread across my little buddy’s face and he skipped gratefully to my side and shimmied up onto my lap. I wrapped my arms around his slender frame and tried to quiet the sigh within my soul.
“Mommy, I love it when nobody else needs your lap,” my littlest boy declared as he snuggled his sleepy-smelling head to my heart.
“Lord, I need your strength,” I prayed while I rubbed my young one’s back and peered over his shoulder to read a few verses from the opened page of my Bible that balanced on the arm of the big leather chair. “Fill me with your Holy Spirit anew this morning,” I pleaded. “So I can be generous with my lap and my time today.”
In her book Real Moms... Real Jesus, Jill Savage writes, “Jesus understands my life and my frustrations. He, too, was interrupted as He went about His daily activities.” She tells of a trip Jesus took from Judea to Galilee. On the way to his destination, he had to pass through Samaria. “Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water,” (Read the story in John 4:1-26).
For a rare moment, Jesus had been alone. He had sent his disciples off to buy food and had settled his weary limbs next to the well. And then he heard her footsteps: a needy woman approaching the well. Though He was exhausted and simply seeking a little quiet time for himself, Jesus engaged this water-seeker in conversation and spoke truth to her thirsty soul. His choice to welcome the interruption rather than ignore it changed not just the woman’s life, but many others as well. Jesus had a plan that day- to get to Galilee- but as Jill says, “life happened,” and Christ Savior embraced the intrusion, thus changing the course of an entire town’s life
Jill reminds us, “Ministry for Jesus was the person standing in front of Him: the woman at the well, a tax collector, someone who needed healing, someone who had a question for HIm.
Ministry for you and me is the same. It’s the people standing in front of us: our husbands, our children, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers at times.”
ill calls what we do every day as moms ‘the ministry of availability,’ but admits that more often it feels like the ‘ministry of interruptions.’
Today, my prayer is that I will have a heart that embraces this ministry called motherhood, beginning with the person standing right in front of me- an early-rising little boy who simply wants Mommy’s lap all to himself.
The Overflow: "But Jesus called for the children, saying, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children." Luke 18:6