I think every mom (or dad) experiences this moment at some point. One day as you are doing your typical mom things (loading the dishwasher or folding laundry or paying bills), one of the beings-you-played-a-role-in-creating does something that literally makes you speechless. Most days this might be because of frustration or sadness or shock. I mean, let’s be honest, it is hard to be a parent and sometimes it’s better to hold your tongue until you can come up with the “right” way to respond.
But sometimes, when you are lucky, you are made speechless because you literally feel like God just spoke to you through the mouth of your child. That happened to me recently. And wow, what a powerful moment it was for me as a mom, but also as a child of God.
You see, I encouraged my daughter to make Mother’s Day cards for her grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I got her all set-up with cards, markers, stickers, and stamps (she is 3.5), and went to answer some emails on my computer at the table in the adjacent room. She started working away, and suddenly she yelled “Mom! I am making this card for Jesus’ mother!” I responded with, “Wow! That is great.” I didn’t even look up from the email I was reading.
“Mom, you know the blood of Jesus that is in the cup at Church? That is what this red is,” she continued, pointing to a blotch of red marker she had drawn. “Happy Mother’s Day, Mary!” Now she had my attention.
I quickly snapped a picture of her working to send to my husband, along with her words. Maybe we were actually getting through to her at Mass when we try to explain things a bit. Most Sundays it just feels like an exercise in pew-wrangling acrobatics, so this was really encouraging (although shocking) to hear.
But then He spoke to me.
“Jesus misses His mother, so I am making her a card….This makes God so happy. I love God so much and he is my friend… Jesus loves His mother. God loves me too. He made me for a reason!”
This was the moment that rendered me speechless.
You see the world tells us that we aren’t important or valid or worthy. It tells us that God could never be happy with us. We have too many failures, too much baggage, too many sins. It tells us that no one, let alone Jesus, cares about us. Loneliness, even when we are surrounded by family and coworkers and friends, is real.
But in that moment, God used the words of an innocent child, MY innocent child, to dispel all those lies. In those few sentences, God spoke all of these truths to my heart:
God loves you just as you are. He made you for an irreplaceable reason. Although you may feel lonely or overwhelmed or unworthy at times, Jesus is here for you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. He wants to be your friend. Your best friend. And he wants you to know that your efforts to be a good and holy wife, mom, coworker, and daughter make him happy, even when you have a bad day or make mistakes.
I slowly embraced my daughter. I brushed her hair from her face, gave her a kiss on her head, and as tears streamed down my face, thought, “Wow, God. Thank you for giving me this precious child and these words today.”
Sometimes we just need to be reminded to have the faith of a child.
This blog was written by Danielle Milliken, Coordinator of Digital Media & Communications here at St. Francis of Assisi. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at [email protected].