Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A B See's

That phrase is still ringing in my ears
"Mommy, I know you're probably going to say no to this, but...."
Her new favorite way of asking me for things
as if I'm that meanie mommy
hoarding all her glittery wishes
in my stingy matronly apron pocket
like a crotchety old school marm
complete with hunchback, hairy moles, and a permanent scowl
Doesn't she know I'd gladly offer my life for hers?
Can't she see the immense love I have for her
that spills out in little drops of joy when I watch her sleep?
That I look for new ways to bless her every day
Doesn't she know the "no's" come with intention to save her?
To keep her from the indulgent plague of a spoiled child?
To protect her from the lies of this world that parade as truth
tempting children with their colorful carney ways?
I wish I could help her understand
break it down into little chewable pieces
like cutting her steak for her.
And then I hear You whisper
A truth that knocks the wind out of me--
Four years of trying for a second baby
Forty-eight months of no's
The elephant in the prayer room
and I'm beginning to see
myself in my little girl's pouty swagger
And I can hear Your voice in my questions to her
"Can't You see the immense love I have for you?
That I look for new ways to bless you every day?
Can't you see the "no's" come with intention to save you?
Don't You know I'd gladly offer my life for Yours?"
And You did.
My little girl's voice comes in again
"Mommy, I know you're probably going to say no to this, but..."
And I hear You one last time
that still, small voice whisper
"Sometimes, that's how you pray."

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:20

"We want to know not how we should pray if we were perfect but how we should pray being as we are now....It is no use to ask God with factitious earnestness for A when our whole mind is in reality filled with the desire for B. We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us..." C.S. Lewis. Letters to Malcom, Chiefly on Prayer

"Prayers are not always--in the crude, factual sense of the word--'granted.' This is not because prayer is a weaker kind of causality, but because it is a stronger kind. When it 'works' at all it works unlimited by space and time. that is why God has retained a discretionary power of granting or refusing it; except on that condition prayer would destroy us, It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say "Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rules of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you must come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then--we'll see." C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock

"Prayer is a request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted. And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the requests of the finite and fooolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them. Invariable 'success' in prayer would not prove the Christian doctrine at all. It would prove something much more like magic--a power in certain human beings to control, or compel the course of nature." C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night

"Wouldn't He know without being asked?" said Polly.
"I've no doubt He would," said the Horse..." But I've sort of the idea he likes to be asked."
C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew


Sarah Koutz said...

Excellent post! I see so much of me in it. Please God, anything but teaching.

Rhonda Owens said...

You spoke so clearly to my heart just now. Thank you.

Like you, we have tried unfruitfully for a second child. We're going on 8 years now, with one miscarriage in between.

I waver between a place of mature acceptance complete with awe and gratitude at what God HAS given us, and a place of pouty questioning topped off with healthy doses of self-pity and internal foot-stomping.

As I grow older, I spend more time in the peaceful acceptance mode versus the pouty questioning mode, learning that God is GOD, and who am *I* to question HIS plan which is wildly bigger than anything I could even think of dreaming up.

Peace to you, Sister, as you continue on the Journey of growing in Him... Because in the end, the size of our families here on little old Earth matters very little when compared to the enormity of all He has planned for us in the grandeur of Heaven.

Even so, I admit that the Father every so often has to spank me back into the reality that my purpose here has a lot more to do with growing people into HIS family rather than growing more people into mine. Sadly, I'm a slow learner. :-)

Kristin Baker said...

Wow. Thanks, Rhonda. What a beautifully written "me, too" from you. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder of the real "family" I should be focusing on. You rock.