He who confers benefits will be amply enriched,
and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
It’s interesting what things will jump out at us when we come across them. Personally, this is one tired Mama so it’s probably no wonder that finding a promise to be refreshed caught my attention. I could use some refreshing. But there’s the other side of it too and I need to be sure of keeping up my end of the deal. Am I refreshing others? What a weird thing to ask.
But the longer I sit here thinking about it the more sense it makes. How can I be that moment of peace for those around me? Can I make the day more restful for others? What would it take to refresh my family? Oy, most days that seems like a tall order. Everything around me seems to take off and just run on its own momentum and it’s hard to step out of it all for a moment.
Take Mass yesterday – the boys were in hyper active hyper drive and literally climbing the pews. At the Kiss of Peace I bent down to give Bigger a smooch and he clocked me in the jaw with his head. Sorry, there was no peace being wished from me, I was too busying keeping from crying. There are few things more painful than a head to the jaw… head to the ear is about the only thing I can think of that tops it. Sadly I can speak from experience. Then as I pulled the second boy back over the pew in front of us, after he had slithered under and popped up following the example of his big brother, and was again fighting tears of frustration I was stopped so short it was amazing. What song began being played on the organ, meaningful enough to instantly calm a tired, frustrated, irritated Mama? Oh yes, thank you, Holy Spirit it was “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.” I should tatttoo it on my arm or something.
My point seems to be that I am pretty lousy at making myself step back. I really do not want life to pass me by while I’m busying making other plans but isn’t that what happens? A chorus of “if only”s or “once”s – “once the baby is sleeping better…” “if only we had a yard…” “someday when they’re bigger…”
But maybe in finding ways to be that oasis for those around me I will discover my own peace, since I can’t be peaceful for them when I’m freaking out. Maybe it’s one of those “which came first” questions. Maybe St. Francis is trying to teach me to stop and smell the roses. Maybe I should listen.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
-Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi