Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Santa... oops ... Jesus!

My oldest daughter is 23 years old, a 2009 summa cum laude graduate of an Ivy League school, running a food bank in Brooklyn, New York, and about to be among the great unemployed. Her position is funded through Americorps, and her year of service will be completed in 4 short weeks. While she knows she can always come home... who wants to do that at age 23?!

While her circumstance is certainly not unique in this economy, what is unique is that this is my daughter. Which of course has occasioned more than a few prayers on my part. Recently, I chose to let my meditations center upon this daughter, and I began my usual laundry list of requests:
  1. Please God... help her to find a job
  2. A good job
  3. A meaningful job
  4. A living wage job
  5. And, how great, if it could be located on the west (I like to say, the "correct") coast!
  6. Oh, and of course... help her to find great co-workers
  7. And good friends
  8. And a supportive, healthy community
  9. And... and... and...
Until, pretty soon, I realized it sounded more like I was sitting on Santa's knee than kneeling in the presence of God! The nature of my meditations - however good hearted and well intentioned they were - were just plain wrong.

It is not that there was anything "wrong" with any of these desires of my heart for my child. What was wrong was found in their limitations. I came to recognize (thanks be to God!) that my laundry list could never be complete. In fact, I do not even know the depth, length, height, breadth, width of my own needs... much less anyone else's! Who am I to say which of these desires is most important, which is critical for health and happiness? Who am I to know for my daughter what I may not even know for myself?

So before the meditation bell sounded, I managed to climb down off Santa's lap. And my laundry list transformed into one simple supplication:
Please God... fill her, form her, and let her light shine in all its fullest glory.

As this became my mantra, my anxiety for my daughter was replaced with a vision of her fulfillment - beyond my wildest dreams. I saw the Spirit's light flowing into and freeing up her own light. I saw her beauty and grace being released into the world without hesitation or fear. I experienced re-birth in that moment of meditation.

Apparently, letting go of my agenda is the first step in this journey of birth... whether I am trying to do it for myself, or longing it to be so for someone else. How simple it is, really - but how hard to remember - to get out of the way and let God be God. "Fill her (fill me); Form her (form me); and let her (my) light shine in all its fullest glory."... So long, Santa. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. It seems as though the long list could also start to cause quite a bit of anxiety...good work in re forming...good model for all of us. :)