Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Unsung Heroes: Everyday Parents

I recently watched a mother who had entered a contest for a project she had worked on.  She was disheartened that her work wasn't recognized, perhaps wasn't even good-- if it had not been honored by someone else.  

But what I saw was beauty in her work, in her offering, in the authenticity and courage of her sharing with others.  I have also watched from day to day, all the unsung things she does in her household.  I am amazed when I see her commit to blessing her children when they haven't "earned it." I am amazed when I hear her say she would "love to listen" to her child play the flute while she is cooking dinner.  I am amazed at the homemade artwork and the new recipes and the flower beds near the door---the commitment to beauty, and honor, and blessing in her home.  I know that doesn't just happen; it is based in commitment and courage and deep-felt beliefs.

I remember talking to a young father of two whom I had first met before parenthood.  Picture him--He is that father who is committed to balancing all the important things in life, not taking things for granted, and spending time with family when it counts and when it doesn't.  But he was able to share an honest human emotion as well; he said, "I remember going outside to take a walk alone in the early dark one night...a walk alone, to clear my head.  I realized that I could understand why parents might leave."  He added, "I never would" (and by the way he never has, even 15 years later), "but I am not sure I can judge people so much.  No one should leave--ever--but the sheer level of commitment is something that is hard to explain."  

Maybe the most wonderful courage, the most wonderful commitment, is when parents stick it out when kids kiss them on the cheek---and when they melt down for the umpteenth time in the middle of the shopping mall.  That day to day commitment, to be there physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I see that in my friend.  I honor her, I bless her.  She is important.  She was created to change the world for good, and she is doing just that, in her home every day---award or no award, children kisses or meltdowns, no matter what...she is a blessing.

Isaiah 40: 31 (The Voice Translation)
But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
    They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
    They will walk—never tired, never faint.

As you read this verse, consider this--Maybe the walking is the most glorious miracle of all!  The day to day walking, no matter what.