Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Prayer for Parents

This morning at Church of the Common Table, we continued our tradition of baptizing a few of our Large Collection of Babies on Mother's Day. This morning we baptized four little ones, ranging in age from a year and a half to only a couple of weeks old. They were all very, very good babies and the service was long but beautiful.

I was asked to write a Call to Worship, and wrote the following prayer.

a prayer for parents

For loss of sleep and loss of hair,
for 2am feedings
and tantrums thrown in public places,
for the looks people give
that feel like stones thrown,
we give thanks
and we pray for mercy.

For baby giggles and toddler tears,
for language acquisition,
for the first time they
use a swear word
in front of extended family,
we give thanks,
and we pray for mercy.

For friendships and heartbreaks,
for shunning and acceptance,
for slumber parties
and first dates,
for driver training and drivers licenses,
we give thanks
and we pray for mercy.

For sacrifice and heartache,
for long-suffering and patience,
for learning exactly what love costs
and for reaping its rewards,
for the single most refining thing
we ever do as humans,
we give thanks
and beg for mercy.

Help us to love
as You have loved us,
and without fear.

This is a weird day for me, Mother's Day, and there are years where I've walked around feeling kind of like a shell, lifeless. This past week has been very hard (grief is so weird... it just cycles in and out without asking anyone's permission to do so), but I'm blessed that our church basically has as many kids as adults so it's full and vibrant and I did get to cuddle with at least one baby today. But I'm mindful of all the folks like me for whom this day really isn't a happy one on a personal level. If you're one of those folks, I'm sending out a general prayer in your direction.