I have been meaning to post this poem shared by a woman in our Bible study. Today seemed like a good day to do it. I reached a low point in my mommying today. I am not sure what we have done wrong, but our children seem to be turning into little monsters. They are so incredibly disobedient and dishonoring lately, not matter how gentle I try to be. I am becoming more and more disillusioned by parenting theories and models-- from the ones given to me by my parents and in-laws, which work for some like Hobbes but just scare sensitive children like Calvin into obeying (and later into hiding things from us)--to positive discipline models which just seem to make kids confused about who is really in charge. I feel like I am drowning. I feel like I am doing nothing well. And so I read this, to be reminded that it is faithfulness in the little things, all parenting theories aside, that God can take and bless and multiply. Lord, have mercy.
Ordinary Loaves and Fishes
--Sanna Anderson Baker
At night I lie beside my child and sing.
Last night I sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Her back was pressed against my chest,
and the smell of the wind was in her hair.
Before I’d finished singing she was sleeping,
but I sang on softly of your faithfulness,
faithfulness that made you pursue your people
even after the green of Eden faded.
At first you came in cloud, in fire,
feeding, leading, sealing
covenants with rainbows, oaths with flames
that passed at dusk between halves of heifer,
ram and goat. Your raw presence was too much for men.
Then, when time was right, you
who were cloud and flame came closer,
and the glory that before could not be looked upon
settled on your son, asleep in a woman’s arms.
And in him men saw that the God who fathered them
longed for them, loved them.
There were thirsty deserts, waffling followers.
Yet, faithful to your love for men,
he went your way, another son following father
to the stony place of sacrifice.
This time, though, no ram in thicket,
no staying of the father’s hand.
And now, as your strange ways would have it,
the Spirit that is you has come to me
and I, not ark, bear you through the world.
Bearer of your image, I? I do no miracles—
make no manna, sight no blind eyes.
I tie laces, make beds, bake bread.
But your equations, like your ways, are strange
adding oil, multiplying meal, making one lunch
food for thousands. Take my acts,
ordinary loaves and fishes.
Bless, break, multiply.