Last night, I made the sign of the cross on Ben’s head for the first time and uttered, “Ben, you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Ash Wednesday is always a powerful experience for me as a minister because it is a reminder of the work that God has done in creating life out of dust with the breath of life, but last night was more so as I remembered Ben being born and waiting to hear that cry indicating that he had indeed taken that first breath of life. In that moment of waiting to hear his cry behind the curtain in the operating room, I was reminded of how delicate life truly is.
There are no guarantees for how long we each have. This is the one chance we get to be a parent, to be a spouse, to be ministers of the gospel that offers life and hope. This is it.
During the past seven weeks since I have returned to work, I have struggled with balancing being a Mama and a minister. Why is it that Ben is inevitably hungry the moment I step into the pulpit to preach even if he has just eaten thirty minutes before? Why it is that this happens only on Sundays? But even in the midst of this balancing act, I know for sure that being a mama has enriched my life as a minister and helped me to understand and care for my congregation more deeply. I know that being a minister has enriched my life as a mama and helped me be a calmer presence for Ben as he tries to understand and learn to live in this world.
When we allow ourselves to wholly and fully step into being disciples of Christ, what we find is that all aspects of our lives become deeper and more authentic. We are not one-dimensional people, but instead beautiful, muddy artwork of Creator God.