The Benediction of an old Priest, Larry Hines, as quoted by Brennan Manning:
May all your expectations be frustrated;
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness
So that you may experience the poverty and powerlessness of a child...
And sing and dance in the great compassionate heart of God.
Can you imagine hearing a prayer like that today in a 21st century American church? No way! Would I dare to pray such a prayer?....probably not. But I do know that nothing throws me into God like brokenness.
What about the poverty and powerlessness of a child. When I first read that line I remembered Jesus' words in Matthew 18:3
...unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
I wondered if he could have been referring to this idea of powerlessness. Right smack dab in the middle of my wondering, my son walked over, put on my beaded flip flips and mocked me. I'm the only girl in family so this is not unusual. But he said in a high-pitch, sing-songy voice "I'm Lynn Cherry and I always say no to my children, well sometimes I say yes." Unbelievealbe! OK, so maybe my very own children do feel this poverty and powerlessness. This is the truth: we are at the pool with his friend. Playing for hours under the hot Texas sun. Obviously, I don't always say no! But I think he really does feel that way. Don't I feel that way about God sometimes? He always says no, well sometimes he says yes. Just like my decisions as a parent seem so unreasonable to my children...sometimes it feels like God is holding out on me.
I do say no. No, you can't have another Root Beer today. No, I'm not buying that sugar-filled, Red 40 dyed junk. No, we can't go to Disneyworld this afternoon. No technology until all your homework is done. I sound completely reasonable, don't I? Not in the ears of my child. I hope they'll remember by yeses. Sure, we can stop at the park on our way home. Yes, let's go to the pool today. You will eat ice cream tonight, we will all eat ice cream and I don't want to hear any fussing about it! :)
I want to sit and soak in all of God's yeses today. The sun on my face. The clouds floating by. The beautiful breeze in the trees. And two dripping wet boys who still want to sit next to me at the pool. I don't understand His nos but His yeses are lovely.