It happened last Sunday night. I was late getting dinner started, which is never a good way to begin to feed hungry boys and men. It was only burgers, which should have been simple. My husband kept making suggestions of more toppings to put on the table for the burgers, which was half-full of my college son’s stuff. I asked the college son and another son for help in clearing off the table so I could get the table ready. Each trip from the kitchen to the dining room loaded the table with more stuff. And my son was still sitting there, with all his stuff, on the table I needed cleared. I still haven’t figured out why, but I have almost a fear of being a nag, so I felt powerless to do anything, since I had already asked for help once. Almost frantically, I kept on loading up the table with more things: dishes, silverware, glasses, toppings for the burgers, buns, the home-made fries I’d made…..thankfully, my husband grills, so at least that piece of dinner was not on my “to-do” list.
And so I gathered my courage. I asked. Again. ”Hey, buddy, I need the table now to get set up for dinner. Will you please move your stuff for me?”
“How soon do you need the table?”
“I needed it five minutes ago, when I asked you to move your stuff the first time,” spoken as gently as a frantic mom could get out the words.
So he moved a grand total of himself and his computer, leaving a few piles of other things behind on the table. I felt like I became a blur, rushing from one place to the other, trying not to mix up my son’s piles of stuff in the moving, setting the table, finishing chopping and prepping toppings for burgers. Looking back, I wonder if this is what Martha felt like….at the time, I could only think of all the things that still needed to be done before the boys could eat.
My youngest son must have sensed or seen the feelings of panic I emanated about this time. ”Hey, Mom, it’s okay. It’s only dinner,” he said. He took three steps towards me, wrapped his arms around me, and, boom! Instantly, I became putty. I felt understood. I felt comforted. And I felt incredibly loved. It was a timeless moment. Time both stood still and existed for longer than I could measure. I had all I could do to keep from crying with relief and yes, a holy joy. Jesus with skin on showed up in my son for those few seconds, assuring me that I was not a nag, but a beloved daughter, that I was acceptable just the way I was, that all was indeed okay like my son had said. More than okay. In fact, all was very well.