Thursday, April 10, 2014
Changing Holy Diapers
What parent hasn’t heard this? Usually from an older adult, and often when your child is having a melt down in the check out line at the Costco.
It’s a truth no one can deny, and is often not helpful.
“It just feels like so much pressure,” one mother confided to me at church. “Not every moment as a parent is actually cherish-able.”
Couple of things for all of us to consider then.
Unsolicited advice; it’s usually more about the one giving it than the one getting it. If you have the urge to give advice no one has asked for, no matter how sound, it’s probably a good opportunity for self reflection. Who are we really speaking to?
To the other point.
Can you love your child without being crazy about everything having your child entails? Like wiping noses, dirty diapers, or scraping peas off the ceiling?
Well yes. Of course. Unless sleep deprivation has you a little punchy. Being less than enamored with every aspect of parenting is pretty typical, and doesn’t mean you’re a deficient mom or dad.
Parents in the midst of actually raising their child, often don’t make or take the time to see the big picture. Then, out of the blue, they’ll see their child sleeping angelically and be stopped dead in their tracks at the sacredness and beauty of their child and this enterprise they’ve been called to as parents.
Then the kid wakes up and it’s time to change another diaper.
There’s a wonderful book by Jack Kornfield called, “Enlightenment, Then The Laundry.” The title says it all.
Gradually, the realization dawns that these magical moments don’t really come out of the blue. They come from all those mundane tasks that seem like drudgery.
It’s like a necklace. You can see it as individual beads, and judge the merits of each bead. Or, you can let your perception sink deeper. To the thread that holds them all together. Voilá. The necklace comes into view.
So much of our lives are spent in dualistic thinking, judging each bead. Prayer, contemplation, meditation, teaches us a unitive way of seeing. It doesn’t mean we don’t have to change any more diapers. It means that even the diapers we change are opportunities of grace. Vehicles to a sacredness that surrounds us, all our lives.