"I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray."
My son and I have a complex relationship. We are incredibly close and there is deep love and devotion between us. Yet, we can really get under each others skin. As he gets older, the rubbing each other the wrong way seems to increase with each passing moment. I wouldn't say it's because we're alike. My mother and I tended to get on each others nerves when I was growing up and I've come to realize that it was because we were very much alike in the way we approach life and others. That's not the case between Jonathan and I. Jonathan is uniquely himself. We might have a similar sense of humor (though there are things he finds hilarious that just irritate me to no end (farting, for example))...our music tastes are sorta in sync, our love of books and writing are very simpatico. Yet, our innate natures are quite distinct. I'm an introvert who loves alone time and simply being with me, myself and I. Jonathan is an extrovert - with a capital E - and garners life and energy from being with people - sharing time with people - talking to people. People. People. People.
As a single mom, with an only child, we've spent a lot of time together, just he and I. It's part of what's fostered our closeness. He's come to almost be my best buddy on earth. That's hard to negotiate, because I also have to be his staunch disciplinarian, the one responsible for guiding him in all things respectful, kind and good. Difficult. Mainly because I'm not always disciplined, respectful, kind and good. As his most present example of living a Godly life, I've fallen very, very short. Actually, in my eyes, I've done a pretty poor job.
It's mainly my mouth. I get upset, irritated, frustrated with his behavior, and words that are not very nice come out:
"Are you retarded?"
"You can be such a knucklehead!"
Yeah, not so nice...not so spirit-filled, Christ-like.
So, I'm continuously apologizing and applying the blood of Jesus over my uncontrolled utterances, believing that our Father has washed them away, negating any ill after-effects that would permanently damage Jonathan's heart.
This past Sunday, after a morning where I got frustrated with him for who knows what - probably he was moving too slow or he responded in a disrespectful way (again, not that I'm the best example of how to respectfully respond to folks), we made our way to church - late as usual. Based on my behavior towards him that morning, what was reported to me by a fellow church member was quite startling - and very humbling.
"I saw Jonathan walking down the hall and I asked him how he's doing and he said 'Good' and then I asked him how mom is doing and without a beat he just said "She prays' and walked off." So darn cute!"
Christine went on to say a few other things but I really did not hear her. Those two words were just hanging between us - floating as if above the gentleness of breezes.
In a life where I don't feel I demonstrate enough of what it means to live as one bought at a price by our risen Savior, where I feel that I'm the worst example of a Godly woman - let alone mother - on the face of this planet, what's been captured by the person I spend the most time with and who I on the regular call "Dummy!" is:
I proclaim all the time that our Father in Heaven is the best dad and mom Jonathan could ever have. I say this in particular because of who I know I am and because of the absence of Jonathan having an authentic, regular relationship with his natural father. Abba Father is doing a marvelous job with uniquely Jonathan. He has sculpted his personality to a T, regardless of how distinct it is from my own and how it can sometimes REALLY get on my nerves - and He is preparing his heart and mind for great things in Him for the future. This I believe. At the same time, He is giving him eyes to see beyond the dross into the very heart of things. Jonathan sees that despite all the junk of my life and the coarseness of my speech, there is a heart dependent fully and absolutely on the sovereignty and goodness of Jesus Christ. Period. I mess up on the regular and Jesus continuously takes care of it, just as He continuously takes care of Jonathan. My heart and mind are in a continuous conversation with the Father. Though Jonathan doesn't always see that, the Father has seen fit to reveal this to him. And it's through this endless, prayerful relationship, that transcends my imperfect behavior, where Jonathan feels...my love.
Yes, Indeed, I pray. I pray to Him because I know He will answer...
I know He will bend down and listen as I pray.