This blog was originally posted at www.Renovare.org. I knew it was coming and frankly, I couldn’t wait. My children can argue the hind leg off a dog and I was really looking forward to our Ignatian Meditation time with John 2:1-12, the Wedding at Cana. The point of this story is so obvious. I mean it’s so clear, to a mother who after a summer of bickering children hides in the pantry.
When Mary called Jesus’ attention to a chore that needed to be done, he obeyed her. Yes, some might say he gave her a little lip, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” But in the end, he obeyed his mother.
(As as I side note, when I was fantasizing about my children obeying their mother, my fantasy did get away from me and I heard my daughter respond after asking her to clean her room, “Woman, what concern is that to you and me. My hour has not yet come.” I was struck instantly with a migraine and had to lie down.)
I digress. The morning came and we began our usually ritual of reading the scriptures with our senses. And then we asked the Holy Spirit to speak to us. And I told the Spirit, “Here’s your chance to really push that ‘obey your mother’ message.” (Um… yeah, pray for me.) We ended our time together by sharing a word, or a phrase, or an image the Holy Spirit had given us.
Tween daughter, “I love that only the servants and I guess his disciples, and his mom knew.[That he changed water to wine.] He didn’t brag or charge money or tell anyone.”
Newly Nine year old daughter, “I think someone who likes to laugh turns water into wine, not into grape juice.” (Maybe too much TV for this kid.)
Nothing. No one got my message. Instead they got God’s.
A parent must respect the spiritual person of his child, and approach it with reverence, for that too looks the Father in the face and has an audience with Him into which no earthy parent can enter even he dared to desire it.
You see the Tween, she’s been serving at a soup kitchen. And the Newly Nine shares a ritual with her Dad of smelling the corks from wine bottles. They rate them and discuss funny things like, this smells similar to paint thinner, or old socks. These messages from the Holy Spirit are just for them, because he knows their hearts so well.
When we engage in the discipline of study with our children, or even within ourselves, submission must be our ever present companion. It seems so much easier to submit myself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit than it is to submit my children.
In my greatest moments I want them to learn directly from God; I want to be looked through— a transparent parent, pointing the way, not becoming it.