Sunday, May 8, 2011

If you are listening, it’s amazing what you hear

It might seem strange to post a picture of my grandpa on Mother's Day, but in light of recent circumstances, this picture came to my mind and is staying there.

Just yesterday, the day before Mother’s Day, I was enjoying a refreshing walk around our neighborhood. I overheard part of a conversation happening within feet of me, at the end of a neighbor’s driveway. A couple neighbors walking their dog had stopped to chat with the couple in the driveway.

“She had a baby girl…” is what I heard first.

Then the man who was obviously the grandfather said loudly, “I WISH she had had twins!” He was bent over fussing with his Harley Davidson motorcycle. “One boy and one girl. Then she’d have it out of the way right away.” He laughed.

Not slowing my pace, I kept walking, now being shaken out of the silence of my walking. “Have it out of the way right away.” Have what? I thought. Obviously, the responsibilities of parenthood. Done. Over. Out of the way. Move on with life. As quickly as possible. One boy. One girl.

I can’t help feeling sorry for the child with a grandfather who talks that way. But isn’t this the kind of talking we hear all the time and our ears have been accustomed to? How common we hear the expression that this son or that daughter was “a mistake” or an “oops.” In other words, “we didn’t plan on that one.”

Is a child’s purpose in life a mistake if not planned by its parents? Does every child have to be planned? What about the child conceived through rape? Does he or she have a purpose and meaning to their existence?

No wonder there is so much tension between parents and children today. No wonder children do not honor their parents, who received them not as a gift but tried to take them as a right. No wonder my generation is wounded. Many of us are afraid of a marriage commitment and being a mother and a father. It is easy to understand why: we don’t want to put our kids through what we may have been subject to ourselves: parents deserting us, parents neglecting us, parents regretting us. Maybe that sounds harsh, but is it? What are we the children supposed to think when we hear our parents calling us a mistake? Would it not be better if they said instead, "God surprised us with you! You were an unexpected gift!"

Our existence would be wretched indeed without love and without meaning. Despite our parents’ failings, ignorance or shirking of responsibility, we can rest assured that God loves us, that God had a plan for our lives before one of them came to be, and that God has fashioned a future for us from before the foundation of the world.

He wills us to live; therefore, we live. He breathes into us; we breathe Him out. He has walked this valley of tears and shared our earthly joys, that we might walk with Him into heavenly paradise.

Yes, if only one has ears open to hear.

Happy Mother’s Day to all physical mothers, who have given birth to life in the world! And Happy Mother’s Day to all spiritual mothers, who have nurtured the gift of divine life in every soul!

1 comment:

  1. AMEN!! I get so tired of comments like that - if people had truly listened to the words that came out of their mouths in regards to children, perhaps they would understand how the world is so self-centered - perhaps they would see how they are cutting down the precious gift that God gives in each life and maybe they would be better for it.