Day 9

One of the things that parenting has taught me is an acute awareness of my weaknesses.  It isn’t enough to WANT to be a decent parent, although that motivation certainly is helpful, but becoming a better parent is a lot like entering recovery.  We discover certain habits, even shortcomings, that we are completely powerless to overcome on our own.  We have to learn new tools and put down old ways of living that, and maybe this is the really hard part, we must acknowledge are not helpful and maybe even harming of our children.  This kind of dismantling of old assumptions is painful – an act of enduring.  And it is the gift that keeps on giving.  It never stops.  There’s always something more to learn, change, admit, repent of.  And although there is much to celebrate, I’m not sure it is appropriate to rush to all those celebrations without first respecting the enduring nature of both parenting and recovery.

 

It’s a times like this, when we realize our weakness, that the image of a hovering God can prove comforting.

 

26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. Romans 8:26 CEB

To be continued…

Day 10

26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. Romans 8:26 CEB

 

During Dale’s presentation, he talked about a time in his own life when things were bleak.  He was aware of his weakness, he felt helpless and wondered if a way of escape was even possible.  He acknowledged that during this time God was silent and felt far away.

In contrast, people were offering him all sorts of advice.

 

In hindsight, Dale believes that God was present and silent.  It was at this point in his talk that I felt Dale made his most profound point.  He said that he believes that if God had spoken too soon, perhaps he never could have trusted God again. Sometimes it is just too soon to offer advice.  (See the book of Job.)  And here’s the thing he said that just KILLED me, in a good way, “God’s silence is respectful.  Silence is the most powerful expression of his presence!!!”  (Exclamation points mine.) God’s silence is respectful. God’s silence is not punishing.  It is not withholding.  It is respectful.  He is patient and willing to wait for us to be ready for more.

It may not be what we want, but it is powerful. Codependent hovering cannot handle silence; it cannot WAIT for the other dependent person to speak, act, or think.  It pushes hard, it obsesses over the “change” needed, the “action” necessary.  God is not like this. What difference does the contrast between God’s hovering and codependency make in the way you are thinking about your life and the lives of those you love?
“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.” Henri J.M. Nouwen

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