#14: Loving kindness

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

It had been a typical antsy, loud and frenetic morning. I had yelled yet again, in a futile effort to get the three kids up, dressed, basic hygiene tasks completed and into the car. The usual biffing and jostling as they worked out which seats they would settle for, and who got to choose the radio channel or cd. The verbal and physical battering was as expected.

My mind sent up a small stream of exasperated curses and pleas.

“Couldn’t I have had just one quiet child? Why were two of them so emotional? And the other one so rigid and so persistently capable of pushing their buttons or having a meltdown himself over seemingly trivial things? Wasn’t having them at three different schools an unselfish act on my behalf, to address each of their needs? No gratitude there! Why couldn’t they just calmly do what every other family seemed to manage effortlessly and just get on with it?”


I went off to “La La Land” and let the chaos and bickering ricochet around me. I vaguely stuck to the speed limit, and so went the trip from one school to the next.

I was a quiet person … so how did I produce these three? The middle child had a diagnosis that explained his routines and perhaps why life often felt like such as strain. Why couldn’t he think like the rest of us? Go with the flow? Blend with his siblings and not need scaffolding just to hold it together?

A random thought came out of left field … M.I.L.K.

Moments of Intimacy and Loving Kindness … it was a book a friend had given me full of sentimental sayings and mushy pictures. It appealed to the ‘zen’ part of me, always wanting the peaceful. But I was not! Another torrent of anger seethed beneath my smooth exterior ready to roar, if another iota of stress reared its head.

I said out loud “MILK … what we need is MILK – Moments of Intimacy and Loving Kindness!!!!”

The oldest and youngest paused and looked at me quizzically – “she’s lost it!” written on their faces.

Then the voice of the other child quietly added… “we also need bread, yoghurt and ice cream.”

A tear leaked out of my eye and I quietly thanked God for this beautiful unique being who would always be and think differently, but who somehow centred us and brought us back to earth. Ω

Reflect: When has a simple comment helped you let go of your aspirations or illusions? Ask God to show you what aspirations or illusions you are holding onto now, and what relationships are suffering as a result. Ask God to shepherd you gently to a more grounded and connected place.

 #Lent2020 © Sanctuary, 2020.


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