Monday, June 15, 2009

"Lord, I am not worthy"

It's my favourite part of the Mass. Gets me every time. We echo those centuries-old words when we pray, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."

For a long time, I pondered exactly what word it is He would say. It's not like an "abracadabra" kind of magic word, I know. I assume it's probably The Word. You know, the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Word who was there in the beginning, who was with God and who is God. That makes sense to the logical part of my brain.

But the emotional, sentimental part of my brain thinks of it a different way. I think of the story of Easter, when Mary Magdalene didn't recognize the resurrected Jesus. She addressed him as the gardner at first, and only saw who he truly was when he spoke her name. She hears him say, "Mary" and immediately she knows him. For me, during Mass, that is the word that is spoken to heal me - Jaclyn.

I bet you're wondering why I bring this up.

If you read my last post, you know that Francis was out of town for a couple of days, and I was on my own with a toddler and a newborn. Thursday morning was great. Thursday afternoon was even better. As of 6pm on Thursday, it all went downhill. Fast.

Come Norah's bedime on Friday, I was done. Spent. Finished. Gonzo. I had nothing left to give, after getting only four hours of broken sleep on Thursday night, and having a rough day with two exceptionally cranky kids all day Friday. So when Norah threw a tantrum as I put her in bed, I wasn't in the best state to deal with it.

She was in her bed, crying. Simon was in my arms, crying. And I was sitting on the floor outside Norah's (open) bedroom door, crying. And trying to reason with her through my tears. She wasn't having any of it. Finally I gave in, and took Simon into her room, where the two of us sat on a chair and waited for her to fall asleep. At this point, I was feeling like an utter failure as a mother. I know that most of that was irrational, post-partum stuff. But that's how I felt. So I prayed.

I told God how unworthy I felt to be given the enormous blessing of raising these two (and any future) children. Desperately and completely unworthy. They're so perfect, so wonderful - and I'm so broken and flawed. I can't possibly be worthy to be their mother.

And then a song came on. We always have a CD playing in Norah's room while she sleeps - it helps to drown out the noise from the rest of the house, and having worship music playing while one sleeps is lovely. So it's Matt Redman in Norah's room, and one of the songs on this particular CD is called - get this - "You're Worthy".

Now obviously Mr. Redman wasn't singing about me. He was singing to the One who is truly worthy. And that's when it hit me:

"Lord, I am not worthy to receive these children. But only say the word, and I shall be healed."

And so He who is worthy has spoken the word - or the Word - and I am healed. I may not be worthy by my own merit, but He has made me so. And for that, I praise Him!