I woke up to a quiet house, save for the whir of dueling white-noise fans. I drank a cup of coffee and read a chapter in a book about Jesus, feeling in my stomach the tension at not knowing at what moment the silence would turn abruptly to mayhem. This morning I had just about 20 minutes. Oh, those blessed 20 minutes! My toddler woke up sort-of happy and drank a ‘ba-ba’ of milk on my lap while I finished the last few pages of my chapter. By then, the big boys were awake and for an hour and a half we did mixed amounts of snuggling, drinking chocolate milk, finishing homework, making sack lunches, eating breakfast, getting dressed, crying over not having a 4-year-old’s belt, negotiating with a 5-year-old to lend his belt to the 4-year-old because after all he really didn’t need it to keep his pants up, crying loudly as Daddy left, wiping tears, finding a 4-year-old’s belt, making just one more cup of coffee on the way out the door to school and preschool and work.
On my drive to work, my thoughts were far away from the car. I was consumed with: I desperately want to be a person who follows Jesus. I want to be a lover of God and others, deep down and deeply outward. I want Him to change me from the inside out so that I and those around me will flourish more and more as the humans we were created to be. I want to bring more of what Jesus brought to this world – humility in the face of pride; love in the face of selfishness; peace in the face of turmoil; justice in the face of dehumanization. How can this be, Jesus!? There is so much work to be done – in my heart, in my household, and in this world.
And then I was carrying a toddler, holding the hand of a 4-year-old, trying not to drop my coffee, walking along the sidewalk and up the steps to work. But I felt for just a moment in my soul the deep significance of my footsteps, my heartbeat, my prayers. This is faith. This is hope. Every day I demonstrate faith in God just by putting on my shoes and driving to this place and walking into the building and breathing in the Spirit and putting one foot in front of the other to go about this work that mostly seems impossible and fruitless. Every day I demonstrate hope in God just by showing up to my prayer times and reading more to find out who this Jesus is and listening attentively to the humans around me and helping them know that they matter, that I care about and for them, that they belong and are safe when they’re with me.
It might look like a girl just taking care of her 3boys and it may look like a girl just going to work. But in that moment, God showed me what a very spiritual exercise of great faith and great hope it actually is. Faith and hope that God sees me doing the slow-as-molasses and personally wearying work of unentangling miscommunication, casting vision, remembering people. Faith and hope that this world can get better simply because Jesus was dead and now is alive and well. Faith and hope to receive day by day the ministry to which He is calling me, trusting that what looks foggy now will later become clear. Faith and hope that major change takes major time, and that the tiny deposits I make each day into my personal life with God, my blood family, my spiritual family, my writing, my workplace are indeed my prayer through simple, active obedience: God, I trust You. I trust that You are hard at work answering my prayers. I trust that You are making all things new because of Jesus.
If this is true, may each day be a normal day for all of us.