Children are uncivilized.
Ask me how I know, I dare you. I could, perhaps, tell you a story of a tube of toothpaste emptied down the back of a sisters shorts because she “wasn’t wiping well enough”. Or I could tell you any number of other stories to illustrate my point.
Parents are uncivilized.
It has something to do with sleep deprivation, constant demands, and physical weariness, I suppose. It is the smear of unknown substances on my clothes, the brain tired inability to make coherent small talk, or maybe the unending train of dishes and laundry.
People need Community.
Sometimes there is a temptation to avoid others. I don’t want people close enough to see the dust on the mantle, the fact that my hair is only barely brushed, or to notice that I am sometimes completely unable to string two intelligent words together. In a Pinterest world, I am sometimes embarrassed that there are days when all I can come up with is “Go make mudpies” or “Clean your room”. Let’s not even talk about the state of my yard and garden. There are days when I feel like I am the only one who doesn’t have her act together, and I don’t want anyone to know.
Communities are important. They are the safety net. They are the village. They care for their own, they provide accountability, they insure that no one goes hungry. When I remove myself from community, I selfishly withhold blessing from others. Even if I feel that I don’t measure up to some unspoken ideal, my feelings matter little compared to a world that needs a friend, a listening ear, and the levity that my circus monkeys provide.
We all need Good News
Today we ate our breakfast on my grandmother’s fine china. Not to take pictures for Pinterest and pretend that this is the way it always is, but as an act of defiance and incarnation. We ate in defiance to the idea that this will always be the way things are and it will never get any better. We ate in defiance to the native barbarism that would rather have us eating off of plastic in front of the TV.
We ate in the spirit of the Incarnation. The King of the Universe resided in a dung filled stall. The Holy One touched the lepers and unclean. Creator God humbled Himself even to death. We ate in reverence to Emmanuel God, God with us. We ate to remember to “Lift up our eyes”, to look both to whence our help comes from and to the world outside our home.
Grubby houses and naughty children are the nature of things in this season of our lives. I am awed at anyone with the organizational skills, discipline, and money to have it any other way, though maybe not as overly awed as I once was.
Fifteen years from now, the outside of my cup may very well be clean and presentable. My children will be older and more mature. Their bodily functions will be generally contained to one room of our home. I may very well miss sticky faced kisses, bath times, and their utter trust and reliance on me.
For now, I rejoice with the barbarian horde, in the midst of pillaged bedrooms and desolate cabinets. I lift up my eyes, not to covet someone else’s house/yard/well behaved children, but to realize that the Holy One is still at work giving sight back to the blind and unstopping deaf ears. He is still calling the lame, the foolish and the broken “My People” and “Beloved”.