02 November 2011

This cup

Sometimes, my heart breaks for the child who ran outside today, shockingly shoeless at first, to capture the first snow of the season.

Cup outstretched, he spun in the rain, the sleet, dashing between drops in his pursuit of the precious white stuff. Wads of snow clumped thickly downward in the mix, bright against dark wet bark, incongruous over lingering autumn color-collage.

But the snow he was so earnestly after—it disappeared even as he touched it. His cup was filled not with the abundance of magical flakes he hoped for, but with a scant spattering of dreary drops. A small disappointment, perhaps—but my mother-heart in that one moment ached under the weight of many moments, heavy for this child of mine to whom many things come hard.

But when he turned and saw me where I’d stepped out to snap his picture, his face was flushed with wet glee. “Look!” he shout-chortled joyously: “Your back has snow on it!”

And then he drank impossibly deeply from what appeared to me to be a woefully meager cupfull, and was satisfied beyond words.

I ducked back into the house to ponder these things, and to treasure them in my overflowing heart. He returned a bit later, soaked, glowing, and unusually quietly contented of spirit.

When I want a heap of snow, and I get a spattering of sleet instead, can I too drink and be satisfied—even unto quiet contentedness of spirit, even unto overflowing joy?

This is grace: our daily cup. We spin madly about, waving our tumbler heavenward, trying to capture only what we want from the mix, demanding the refills we think we need—but our Lord knows that too much can be deadlier than too little. We pray, “Lord, take this cup from me”—but our Lord knows that heavy luggage can be His revolutionary prescription for weary souls. For each of us, He lovingly mixes the bitter and the sweet, titrating with a precision we could never even approximate.

Lord, teach me to pray: Take not this cup from me—only teach me to drink from it deeply, to find even in its dregs an impossible satisfaction, a contentment surpassing words, a joy glowing strong.

8 comments:

Leah said...

Just one more proof that we should become as little children...


but my mother-heart in that one moment ached under the weight of many moments,
I hear you all too clearly in that statement.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. You should start a blog, or something=)-Marie

Untamed Shrew said...

For each of us, He lovingly mixes the bitter and the sweet, titrating with a precision we could never even approximate.<<

Now that's good stuff. That's grace.

Rebekah said...

Sigh.

Gauntlets said...

Your baby just broke my heart a little, too.

Anonymous said...

>> but my mother-heart in that one moment ached under the weight of many moments

Rainer Marie Rilke:

All things want to fly. Only we are weighed down by desire (Sonnets to Orpheus)

Melrose said...

Thanks so much, this brought so much comfort while I was in labor yesterday :-)

Emily Cook said...

beautiful. I love this. great work.

Now, just to live it... even if my precious hours of quiet "naptime" are interrupted in a few minutes. Help Jesus!