Jesus often wandered away from the people to be alone in prayer. He too needed time alone to gather strength for the miracles he was performing. He too needed to recoup from the never-ending demands of his people. I see motherhood echoed through his ministry.
I awake to a stream of tears. The cries ring loud through the monitor startling me out of a sleep-deprived haze. I feel the weight of the demands that await me on the other side of the door. I’m not quite ready for all the day has to offer. If only I had a few moments to myself.
But baby demands wait for no one. I put on a pot of coffee and joyfully gather my little bundle into my arms. Good morning my love, it’s so good to see you. Did you have sweet dreams? He answers with precious baby babbles and a smile. I rest easy in the knowledge that he is happy, healthy, and deeply loved.
This is the third day in a row that I’ve failed to wake up to my alarm. My ambitious plans of an hour of prayer before the baby awoke had once again succumb to sleep. My lack of discipline leaves me feeling anxious about all the things I wish to accomplish for the day. I feel the days are long but yet there isn’t enough time to get everything done.
My mind races with to-do lists of chores, work, prayer, writing, and playing, but I take a deep breath. I kneel to the floor where Cooper lay playing with his toys and begin the monotonous work of Hail Mary’s. The peaceful repetition brings silence to the babbling baby.
With each of the sorrowful mysteries I connect more deeply with my vocation and how closely it vibes with Jesus. The agony in the garden reminds me of my desperate need for prayer and the freedom found in making time for it. I’m drawn from this deep meditation with an aggressive bite on my shoulder.
I look up into his eyes and work a “no, no” in between Hail Mary’s. Tears are quick to follow as I pull him into my arms repeating softly “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” His eyes grow big with wonder and suddenly he’s giggling. I can’t help but smile with him. His range of emotions in a given period of time never ceases to amaze me.
We continue this prayer together all the while laughing, crying, smiling and whining. I can’t help but think this is what Jesus dealt with, too. He faced the neediness and emotions of all his people and he did so patiently and lovingly. Then, he wandered off to be alone and recuperate in prayer.
When I fail to make time for God I’m only hurting myself. He offers us a safe haven, a place to be filled-up before we begin our ministry. My strength for the day comes from that quiet time with him. If Jesus needed to sneak away and be alone in prayer then I can only imagine how much more I need to do the same.