I watch from the kitchen as my 11 month old scampers on all fours toward the barricaded doorway to the garage. He had recently taken his first few steps and has been putting in practice reps all week, but the familiar sound of the garage door meant dad was home, and crawling was still the most efficient means to getting to appa for the big hello.
Jeremy sets his keys down on the dryer and stoops down to pick up his boy. Love-filled expressions like, “Oh, my son!” and “I missed you!” and “…my boy” fill the air, all of it wrapped in a big bear hug.
My mind instantly flashes back to San Jose, CA, 1995. A similar scene replays in the back parking lot of a humble suburban apartment complex. My dad, freshly immigrated from South Korea, returns home from his job in the stock room of a semi conductor tech company, to the warm greeting from his young family.
He steps out of the faded yellow Toyota he bought second hand and assumes his position crouched on the ground, arms spread open. I (four years old), clumsily bound and leap into his arms, braided pigtails flailing all the way. He picks me up and walks over to greet his bride, who captures the moment on a very large black camcorder in one hand, one year old baby in the other.
My dad died earlier this year. He laid to rest with just wife and daughters around him, and met the Maker of the stars. And I think to myself, watching my son greet his dad at the door, what an incredible flash is the passing of one generation. Truly, it is wisdom to number our days.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
It first seemed odd that I’d begin a motherhood journal this way. Maybe I should save this for a later entry? But upon further thought, this absolutely must be the way to begin.
It is incumbent upon us to consider the task of mothering with the day of reckoning always on the edge of mind. The King is coming. And if we aren’t left standing to hear the trumpet sound, he will most surely call us home on the very day he has written, the day he sees fit.
There is a grander scope for living than we might ever dare imagine. There is a Lord who commands all things to accord with himself. His creation is good. His redemption of it is better.
We and our children fit into his picture, one way or the other - in glorious submission or in miserable contempt.
What a remarkable task ahead - to feed and form these living souls with the substance of Word, truth, beauty, justice, goodness. To acquaint them with God as he has proven himself from creation to cross, from cross to his coming again. To ready them, as far as it depends on us, to run into the kind pity of the Savior, or to incur his right judgment for rejecting such a gracious, unmerited offer of pardon.
Mothering is for the last day. Mothering is good works in Christ. It is a job marvelously made, that perhaps on my dying day, by God’s grace, I will be surrounded by sons and daughters who are already found living as citizens of the new heavens and earth that will be our place of meeting again.
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