Sometimes I have photos that I want to post because I just love them. Like these, from an impromptu swinging playdate with my boys yesterday. The sun was bad, faces were hard to get in the harsh light, and yet I love the freedom captured in the swinging dirty feet against the backdrop of sky. But sometimes these images feel false. Because the reality is this: we spent ten minutes at the park and I didn’t feel like pushing the boys on the swings. We went home to a sink filled with dirty dishes and a carpet with crushed cereal down in the fibers. Christmas has taken over the front room of the house where I neither want to put it away or look at it. I woke up cranky and stayed cranky from there. Not at all what you see in the pictures.
But I love the faces here. I long to see that unbridled joy on my own face, but when I catch myself in the mirror lately, it’s just weary. Have you noticed I don’t appear here very often? There are reasons for that. I feel old and haggard and worn and thin in spirit.
Cooper is waking at all hours. Teething? Longing for more milk than my baby-making body is producing? Lonely? Ear infection? No reason? The why doesn’t really matter when your baby is waking repeatedly and waking you by clawing at your eyes at 3am.
“Everyone—take it down a notch! It’s MORNING,” I found myself saying today before the boys left for school. This is the reality. So the photos fill me with longing. I know every moment can’t be filled with joy and wonder, but too often mine are filled with struggle and survival.
Yet I read something amazing today. I did that thing where I opened my Bible, thinking it would go where my bookmark was (in Acts), but instead it opened to the middle of Mark 6. And being bleary-eyed and not-yet-caffeinated, I read from there.
It was a passage I love, when John the Baptist has died and the disciples have returned all full of stories to tell Jesus and so he suggests they go away to a desolate place to rest. I think of Jesus, weary in spirit and thinking ahead to the cross, and the disciples like so many small dogs yipping and yapping their voices over one another.
The crowds beat them to this desolate place and so much for rest. Jesus, having compassion, teaches them. The disciples, having less compassion, ask Jesus to send the crowds away for dinner. I feel that—I often want to put my kids to bed so I can eat the best foods and not share. Instead, Jesus says, “What do you have?”
I can hear the tone when they list out their meager bounty: a few loaves and fishes. In other words, Hint Hint, Jesus—we ain’t got enough.
But instead, Jesus asks for all they have. (Can you picture their faces as they hand it over?) In Jesus’ hands, their meager not-enough becomes so much more. It becomes beyond-enough. It becomes tomorrow’s leftovers.
I thought this morning of my not-enough. Of how I feel stretched so very thin and of my tired and achey, of my grump and trudge. This is all I have Jesus, I say, thinking he’ll cut me some slack. Instead he asks me to give what I have, even this skimpy harvest. Oddly, like the disciples, I find myself clingy when it comes to my very-little. It may not be much, but I wants it. (Gollum, gollum.)
Still he waits, holding out his hand until I give it. And in his hands? More than I imagined. More than I needed. More than I ever would have had on my own. It is magic how he multiplies. So I share these pictures and the true story behind them, and the true story beyond that: how Jesus wants you to hand over your weary and tired and feeling so small. How he wants to simply touch it and make it more than you even asked for in your very small prayers.
Are you weary? Are you small? Simply come. You don’t need to be more. What you bring is not enough, but HE is.
Linking up again with Crystal Stine and her Behind the Scenes series. Come and see some other lovely bloggers. I tend to cheat a little, using more than one photo, but hey. I’m a rebel.