Wow! What day is it?!? I hope you’ve found ways to stay cool these past couple of weeks – we’ve been taking the time to explore places and events right here in our own city this summer.
I took a sabbatical from writing for a while and it’s nice to be back. There were a couple of different reasons: First, there were some changes getting ready to take place in our family and I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share about the extent of those changes. Secondly, I felt as if life had begun to move so fast I was having a difficult time observing what was going on around me. So I’m coming back refreshed and invigorated – despite the fact that I feel a little like Frosty the Snowman who has melted into a puddle from the heat and come back to life now that we’re in some nice, cool 80-degree weather again!
I’ve been trying to put my observations into perspective this past week and I definitely wanted to share with you what I’ve noticed in regards to motherhood and mothering.
One of the more striking moments I noted was during a Statistics class. We have three major tests during the course of the class and it was a testing day. One of my classmates that I’ve gotten to know and appreciate had to bring her 12-yr. daughter with her (which is considered a big ‘no-no’). Without divulging all the details – she really didn’t have another option but to bring her. So seeing as how it was a test day (meaning class ends when you finish your test) she brought her laptop and set her up right outside the classroom.
While mom was inside the class taking her test, the woman who serves on the janitorial staff saw the situation and invited the young lady to stay with her while she did her duties on the same floor. When she had to leave, another woman from a different class was walking down the hall to the bathroom and noticed our young daughter’s situation. When she got back to class, she told the other women in her class and they all took turns ‘using the bathroom’ to keep an eye on her.
I was able to finish my test earlier than her mother so when I came out, I sat down with her to wait until her mom finished (which is how I heard about the janitorial woman, and also how I met the other women from the other class). We ended up having a delightful conversation and played Angry Birds on my phone while we waited over the course of an hour.
This all seems pretty ordinary, I agree. You probably would have done the same thing as any other of those women. But I have to admit that I’m still struck by the extraordinariness of community that I watched and was a part of that morning.
As women, we’re constantly being sold a message of independence and self-reliance. It’s not a bad thing put in the proper context. God gave us the ability to think and work – products of independence and self-reliance. But it was Satan who sold us the message that we could go it alone. He began by telling Eve that she didn’t need God to know all things; and He works today by telling women we’re lacking if we can’t keep a clean house and have laundry up to the minute and make home-cooked meals and play with the kids and go to every practice and, and, and…
What a beautiful thing God gave to us in community. Starting with Adam, He knew we would need each other. It’s really easy to judge people – someone might read this story and think “Wow – I would NEVER do that with my kid.” But none of us walks in the other’s shoes. What I saw that morning was a lot of blessing without the judgment.
And isn’t that just how God treats us?