Editor’s Note: Friends, this week we are treated to another article from CatholicMom.com contributor Julie Paavola inspired by her wonderful book The Mother’s Calling: Love in the Heart of the World. Please consider sharing this wonderful book with your friends! LMH
“Each one of us had a sound to make during our lifetimes, a song, a message or a mark to leave.” (The Mother’s Calling: Love in the Heart of the World, p. 7)
Last week I attended a fundraiser for a boy’s choir in the San Francisco Bay Area. I didn’t feel like going. I was tired and feeling depressed. I would have preferred a night in. When we arrived, we had to stand because all the chairs were taken. This didn’t help my mood.
We had just gotten glasses of Sangria served for the “Havana Nights” themed event, when the singing started. I looked at the stage, at the faces of the young boys as their voices rang out, and in that moment all my pressures and negative feelings melted. I relaxed and in place of my fatigue and worry, I felt happiness. In seconds, not minutes, my spirit was healed. The rest of the evening was pure joy as three choirs, an ensemble group and ten soloists performed for us.
So many times hardship and worry interfere with God-given joy. As mothers, we often feel this overwhelming pressure that can block out our capacity to enjoy. These little choristers gave me the gift of the present moment, so I was able to let go of my burdens and understand: my life-as-it-is enough to please God. If these young men could give such joy by their song, like the bird who flies praises God, why is it so hard for me to see God in my own daily life?
The story of the Samaritan Woman always brings this home to me (John 4). Jesus comes to the well where a woman of Samaria is drawing water; he comes to her on her own turf and asks her for a drink of water. Jesus asks for something within her reach, not something great or grandiose: “Give me a drink.” As a mother, my life has plenty of mundane moments, and not a few thankless jobs. It often doesn’t match with my ambitions and dreams. Yet, can I not offer a mighty love like Therese of the Child Jesus did, with my daily life of work and service? If this is the “drink of water” Jesus is asking of me, why not give him this love throughout my day? Why not see God, and feel joy, everywhere?
At the end of the evening, I thought of my own boys, tucked home in bed that night. They had recently joined the choir but had not yet advanced to the performance level. Their sleeping was enough! So our gift is also enough and pleasing to God. Each of is invited, through our own very particular life and calling, to leave our mark, proclaim our message, sing our song. And this will make a difference in the world and please the Lord.
Copyright 2011 Julie Paavola