Reflecting on Nine Years and Coming Up Blonde
James,the half-brother of Jesus, wrote that if you are a hearer of the Word and not a doer it is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and walks away immediately forgetting what kind of man he was. James basically says that if you hear the teachings of Christ and are not changed by them; than you are like a man who smiles in the mirror, sees spinach between his teeth, and goes to a party without every flossing it away.
If I were a perfect Christian than I would read my Bible every day, take notes on every word, and live in complete submission to the faith I profess. I am no where close to that. Lucky for me, God has a Plan B. He calls them children.
My daughter is more than a reflection of me. She is one of those magnifying mirrors from the dermatologist’s office. The one they use to inspect moles. She takes my example, exaggerates it with attitude, and emphasises it with a cartwheel.
I mumble at the driver who cut me off, “what is wrong with you.” She then turns to her brother who breathes too loudly; shakes her hips, yells “what is wrong with you,” and finishes with an eye roll. I am subsequently reminded of the scriptures regarding the power of kind words, the importance of patience. I hear and desire to do.
I throw myself on the couch and indulge in self-pity because my day was filled with things intolerable. She throws herself on the floor, sobs into her favorite stuffed Panda, and bemoans the injustice of not getting a cell phone like all of her friends. I remember that we are to persevere, to cling to hope, and to rejoice with thanksgiving. I hear and desire to do.
When I see how my own behavior influences her outlook, I want to live my faith in a more profound way. I want to be a better example of grace and faith to her. I want her to know Christ deeper because I have loved her better. In her, I see the person that I am, and it sends me running for dental floss (so to speak).
Yesterday was her 9th birthday. She had left Sunday for an overnight gymnastics camp and I could not wait to pick her up at 3:30. I got to camp an hour early and slid into the balcony of the gymnastics center to watch the closing ceremonies. She flitted around the room, hugging girls, telling everyone they were doing a good job, inviting lone gymnasts to join her at the trampoline. She was at her best: happy, hard-working, and enjoying everything about everything. For a moment I saw in my daughter a reflection of the God I love; in her joy the image of Christ. I heard and wanted to do.
I will never be a perfect Christian. My name will never find itself engraved on a plaque for mother of the year. I may even forget to floss. But I am grateful for my little blonde who reminds me that faith is important, that joy is contagious, and that the word of God does not come back void.