I grew up going to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and any other day that the doors were open or that momma decided we needed to go. I learned my scriptures and know how to sing. I have tried to pass on my Christian values to my children. As I have matured and experienced the complexity of life many of the scriptures have taken on new meanings. I try not to be anxious about each day and I try to give grace as much as possible. I understand things I used to not and I am still working on many other things that are talked about in the bible.
Just this week I had one of those “Ahhh Haaa” moments when the light bulb goes off and understanding flows. A song from my childhood is part of this enlightening moment. As I dealt with the situation at hand, the song just popped into my head and I had clarity of thought.
I was in the car with the youngest, driving him to his golf tournament. We were in the final days of school and the yearbooks were handed out. He had tried to show me the photo ops of his sweet little self the night before but I was busy bottle-feeding the abandoned cats on the front porch. The cats are an entirely different story that can’t be printed because they cause un-Christian thoughts and words. Yes, soft, little, fuzzy kittens who shriek like everything when they are hungry.
Anyways, on this particular day, I was driving down one of the busiest streets in town. Cars were bumper to bumper and the ten-year old was casually flipping through the new yearbook. He was talking about kids he knew and teachers he knew and I was watching the traffic and trying to get through the next light. Every now and then he would stop at a page and point to a photo and say, “Look at this one. That is when I…”
Each and every time, I politely told him that I would have to look later as I was watching the traffic for now. Just as we got to the busiest intersection, he whooped. “Look mom! Here is a picture of Kagin (name changed to protect the innocent!). I haven’t seen him since he moved. Here he is in the yearbook!” He was excited and explained to me how the guy was there for a few weeks and then had to move away.
I nodded and blinked and made agreeing kind of noises. He flipped a page and suddenly freaked out. “Mom! Here is another picture of him!” By this time he was screaming with glee. “Mom! You gotta LOOK!”
“Honey, I can’t even glance right now, but I will when we get home tonight.”
His elbow. Seriously? He can tell that this is his long-lost friend from the elbow at the edge of the photo? I continued to drive and must not have made the right kind of noise because he slammed the book closed and tossed it into the back seat. “If you are not gonna look, then I am not going to show you my friends.”
I turn my head and sneak a peek at him. He is seriously upset with me because I won’t look at his yearbook while driving down the street. I took a deep breath and that is when the old song popped into my head. God Moves in a Mysterious Way. His wonders to perform.
And I know that the old hymn writer, from way back when, got it all wrong. Children are the mystery. God gives us children! There is no understanding them and they take a lot of work. I mean, I am on a busy highway and this ten-year old wants me to look at a one-millionth of an inch elbow at the edge of a photo in the crease of a yearbook. How much more mysterious can you get? Who understands these creatures? AND then HE wants us to perform WONDERS with them. That must be why they stay so long.
I begin to hum the song, because the light bulb is flashing inside my brain. The young one gives me the fish-eye to let me know that he is still upset with me. He crosses his arms and remains silent. I drive on, humming my song until I hear a small snore from the passenger seat. His head is back and his mouth open.
At this precise moment, I decide that perhaps children are the wonders and the mystery of it all is that when they are sleeping we really believe that.