My reference: Galatians 5:4
This morning I sit sipping tea, with one child opposite me. I can't know what he's thinking - his thoughts are his own - but if his face is anything to go by, he wishes I wasn't here. My other child is on a bus, travelling away from me as fast as the bus can take him.
You could say these two boys are an authority on living with me. That places them in prime position for deciding, moment by moment whether I have fallen from grace or am worthy of respect. The irony of the parent-chid relationship is that the parent is compelled to love the child even when child-like world perspectives trigger and torment the parent's wounds and weaknesses. And, similarly, the child may well (often is) continue to be haunted, tormented, blessed and shadowed by the parent's behaviour, however brief their lives together.
What will my boys remember of me, hear when my spirit no longer shares a vocal box with a physical body? What will bless or haunt their days, as the ghost of me?
I haven't experienced the loss of a parent yet during this lifetime. I have lost beloved grandparents. I wouldn't say I'm haunted by them but ever since their souls left their bodies my heart has felt a great longing... sometimes clear as crystal, sometimes dull, dark and heavy, as if my hollow stomach is housing rocks.
The ice is melting. The child opposite me is asking me questions, sharing snippets of his homework tasks. The tea I'm drinking tastes too strong, even though I removed the tea leaves early. This son is not clinging tightly on to my dramatic fall from grace half an hour ago. His more relaxed posture and ability to speak easy allows me to step, if I can forgive myself, on to the first rung, to climb the ladder of respectability yet again.
The tiresome climb, over and over again each day. There are many moments when I don't think I can face that ladder one more time. Isn't it safer to stay low? Each position comes with its risks and consequences.
God, please, let me only fall once from grace today.