Sunday, October 23, 2005

Like Olive Shoots Around Your Table

In the Bible children are commonly considered a blessing from God.  Growing up I never gave that much thought.  I’ve been a dad for a few years now and ever so often am given the opportunity to reflect on it.

Yesterday we made a quick visit to the church:  just a quick drop in a say hello to Jesus.  Why?  Lauren wanted to.  She bugged us for probably half an hour before we agreed.  St. Leo’s was empty save one old man praying the Rosary in a front pew.  We went in and found our own front pew and spent some time in silent prayer.  Ian wandered off so Alicia started after him and Lauren followed.  All alone, I found myself missing the daily Masses I used to make it to.  Here we are, living less than a mile from our church, and my parents have been to more daily masses here than I have.
Thank you, Lauren.

Lauren came back eventually to let me know that she wanted to see the Stations of the Cross.  Last year, this was one of her favorite things.  And it never failed to move Alicia or me.  Lauren would tell Jesus that she would bring him Strawberry Shortcake band-aids for his owies.  Sometimes her tears at Jesus’ pains would leave me with silent tears.  She showed me how to see, really see, Jesus’ sufferings as a child again.
Thank you, Lauren.

Anybody can tell you that kids will teach you to put others first, that as a parent you will live a life of service.  I think that’s only half of the story.  The other half, the bigger, greater, deeper, fuller half is that children will teach you to embrace this selflessness and in doing so develop a greater capacity to love them, your spouse, your self, and your God.  I didn’t see that one coming.
Thank you, Lauren and Ian.

No doubt I will discover more ways I am blessed as the days slip by.  And I don’t doubt that I will learn even more about how little the stone likes the sculptor, as my little family helps me grow into the man that I can and should become.  These are my blessings today, and today they seem enough.

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