Well, I was all set to make light of my crazy day, one of those “woe is me, aren’t you glad it didn’t happen to you today” kind of posts. And then, as an aside, I decided to do the Stations of the Cross with the kids.
Will was at a birthday party and I had just put Clare to bed. John Paul and Anna-Laura were in the living room watching tv. The kitchen was a disaster, so was the living room and my back was really hurting, but for some reason I trekked to the office to grab our Stations of the Cross booklet, knowing that getting to church for it was an impossibility. The day took on a whole new meaning.
At the third station, Jesus Falls, I read this:
“I willingly accept my weaknesses, my irritations and my moods, my headaches and fatigues, all my defects of body, mind and soul.”
OK, Lord, I hear you. Really, thanks for getting my attention. I started feeling pretty good about myself. Pat on the back, Kathryn, good job for thinking to do this. Then I get to the fifth station, Simon Helps Jesus, and see this:
“Lord, make me realize that every time I wipe a dish, pick up an object off the floor, assist a small child in some small task, or give another preference in traffic or the store; each time I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, teach the ignorant, or lend my hand in any way – it matters not to whom – my name is Simon. And the kindness I extend to them I really give to you.”
Uh-oh, banish that pride. Maybe God didn’t really hear that earlier, I pray. I think, wait I know, He led me to do this reflection with my children this evening. It’s just so darn easy to get caught up in the monotony of life, isn’t it? To be so focused on what went wrong (Diet Coke spilled on the floor, bathroom floor covered in water, child screaming for one more glass of water) that you realize those ARE the things that went right today. They’re signs of life and happiness and reality. And then my words stumble upon the eleventh station, Jesus is Crucified. I start cyring and the kids give me kisses as I read:
“Can you imagine what a crucifixion is? My executioners stretch my arms; they hold my hand and wrist against the wood and press the nail until it stabs my flesh…My God I look at you and think: Is my soul worth this much?”
Then I get it. What a glorious time of year when we are reminded that our life is NOT our own. But, rather an extension of HIS. I love Lent, don’t you?