Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Wee Little Man, a Wee Little Mama, and a Savior Who Sees 'Em Both

"Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he...
he climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see..."

Lately I find myself singing these lines for my wee ones at least ten times a day, sometimes in a row and sometimes spread out over all the important moments of the day (meals, snacks, bathroom breaks, quiet time...). Whether it was genius or stupidity to break this old Sunday school song out over breakfast last week remains to be seen, but I'm guessing it's middling somewhere between the two. It is cute to see their little eyes glued to my lips while their own lips overemphasize the shape of the words, slightly off beat with their interpretive miming, of course.

Being the favored one that he is at the moment, it was no surprise to have Zacchaeus' song requested as the last hurrah before bedtime blessings tonight; what did come as a surprise however, was how potently the simple words struck me. Truth be told, today was one of those crap days were nothing went right, then I berated myself for nothing going right, and then our whole home atmosphere fell to such minuscule pieces that nothing could piece it back together by bedtime. It was (not at all) lovely. But as I sang the simply phrased story of Zacchaeus, I suddenly recognized myself right there with him.

". . . And as the Savior passed on by, He looked up in the tree...
and he said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down, for I'm coming to your house today..."

For a mama who's weakly propped in her proverbial tree straining hard to see Jesus over the host of bad attitudes (her own lumped in there) and un-cleaned dishes of who knows how many meals, this is the hallelujah moment.

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Long after the bedtime blessing was sung, cold feet propped against my side, fingers tangled in my hair, and eyes fidgeting on the edge of actual sleep, I leaned more heavily into the headboard and popped open my phone to a half-read article - "My Biggest Mistake as a Mother." Perfect, just the thing for wrapping up the day - guilt and self-introspection.

Nope.

"Trust the Lord and do good."

The words of Psalm 37:3 might as well have been in flashing neon letters. Now here was something that wee little me cringed at the backwardness my memory had served me in this command, and so, apparently, did the author:

"When I put doing good before trusting God, guilt dogged my mothering. If a toddler threw a tantrum, I thought, my discipline is not consistent enough. If my teenage was spiritually lethargic, I believed, my discipleship is not compelling enough. If my child feel behind, made a mistake, or sinned in any way, I berated myself, you're not helping them enough. . . .
When I put doing good before trusting God, fear stalked my mothering. I worried that my efforts would result in failure. I worried that my limitations would hold them back. I worried that my sins would scar them for life. I worried that my hopes and desires for my children would end in bitter disappointment."

Forgive my copious quoting but this, this right here was exactly why I was feeling all choked up about a silly kid song, why I was up my tree looking for Jesus. Defeat. Failure. Emotional and mental death by imperfection. Just typing that out makes me laugh, but it's a real thing and it's deadly.

The anecdote? The invitation straight from the lips of Jesus?

Faith.

Just like the author of that beautiful article went on to say, the good in all this is that He is good and ever doing good; we can trust Him because He is trustworthy. I know this but most definitely forget to translate it out of the philosophical realm into the here and now.

I can trust the long seasons of no one sleeping through the night and our groggily making it through the days to Him, because He is trustworthy.

I can trust the picky wee ones who turn their nose up to all the healthful options to Him, because He is trustworthy.

I can trust the relationship between the little women in this home to Him (despite the biting, flailing, screaming, and locking of doors), because He is trustworthy.

I can trust all the heart convicting and faith building business in our home to Him, because He is trustworthy.

This was what I suppose could be a current day version of that hallelujah moment I mentioned earlier. No climbing tree too tall, no circumstances too small for Jesus who calls to those look for Him (even weary mamas), "... Come down, for I'm coming to your house today."