Sunday, November 25, 2012

God's Moments in Time

My 22 year old daughter, Blythe and 17 year old son, Atticus sometimes despise each other. Despite my best efforts they have fought, scratched, screamed and cursed over insignificant slights like who left the lid up on the toilet or who used up all the bandwidth on our crappy internet service. He believes she got most of the goodies and the attention from us because she was sick with cancer for much of her childhood; she believes he got off easy -- handsome, tall, athletic, smart and healthy --because he's never had to deal with illness or disability.

We moved her out to college last August and she has adjusted very well. For her first trip home, I wondered if old wounds had healed between them if only from the time apart.

Somewhat, I suppose.

The best moment of the Thanksgiving weekend was when the three of us engaged in a tickle fight while my husband watched from a safe distance. Atticus's arms are long and he easily pushed Blythe and me away so we couldn't reach the tickle spot under his armpit. Our hands reached and grasped but neither of us could make our mark until Blythe made a fake play for his ribs but tickled Atticus's neck instead.  He crumbled under our assault. The laughter rose to the rooftop. These moments in time make the challenge and sometimes horror of parenting all worth it. Rough turbulence becomes soft landings.

I imagine God feels the same way. Whenever we extend kindness, forgiveness, and redemption or when against all odds, we actually do God's will, then we become God's tender moments in time. Whether we are protesters in Tahrir Square, workers walking out of WalMart on Black Friday, gay people marching down Main Street, neighbors helping each other after Sandy or the millions of other seemingly small but significant tidal waves of goodness in this universe, we are the ones God has waited for.

This morning Blythe left to go back to college but not before Atticus got up from his opportunity to sleep in on a Sunday morning. Wrinkled jammies, hair sticking up and crusty-eyed, he got out of bed to hug his sister good-bye. Then he went right back to sleep. He was so out of it, I'm not even sure he'll remember. And this after last night's screaming match at 1am on who was making the most noise. These are the moments I live for.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human one.
Teilhard deChardin