Moments of Grace
So many needs to be met, and only little ole me to meet them (or so it seems to me many an exhausting day). So many valuable relationships in my life, and they all need tender, loving care.
My eldest, my 16 year old son, is a bit of a mystery to me. Mystery in no way connotes a negative reality. The best part of my existance is wrapped in Mystery, so this in and of itself is not discouraging. But miscommunication between a middle-aged mother and her adolescent son can be exhausting. I struggle to decide what part of his attitude to absorb, what part to ignore, what part to respond to. Whether he knows it or not, I know he still needs mothering, but in a way I am entirely unfamiliar with at this point in my mothering career. So I am feeling my way through this, like a person walking down an unfamiliar hallway in the middle of the night, enveloped in darkness, feeling for the walls, curling the toes, hoping not to walk into a wall or a chair, or into the wrong room.
Conflicts arise, reprimands are given, defensiveness rears its ugly head. Where do I find the gaze I remember in his eyes, the look of trust, of connection?
I try not to notice him too much at church. He feels the weight of my scrutiny, I know, so I try to give him his privacy. I hope he is engaged, I hope the Liturgy still speaks to him, the Holy Mysteries still sustain him, body and soul together. I pray for him, for me, for my husband, that we can navigate these waters without any permanent injuries to our relationships.
I get distracted by a fussy baby, go downstairs to feed and change her, and with a sigh, return to the Liturgy, join in singing many "Lord have mercys". Then it is time for the "Our Father". We sing it together as a faith community. I am praying for our Daily Bread.
I notice a deep, harmonizing voice behind me, as I lean against the wall, standing with my squirmy wee one. As we get to the line, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us", the harmonizing voice is blending ever so nicely with my own. It is soothing, soft, true. Without really thinking, I glance over my shoulder to see who I am praying with, to see who it is that it assisting me in elevating my prayer to Our Father.
It is my son. He is the harmonizing, blending voice, the soothing sound I had been relishing. We met there, at Divine Liturgy, praying in unison, praying for mercy and forgiveness. I am certain he has no idea what that shared prayer meant to me today, but Our Father did.
And so we go on, loving, building, moving.
And so very grateful for moments of grace, encouragement and the timeless communication of praying with those that we love, to The One Who Loves.