Maureen Locher photoIf you love one another God will dwell in you. And if you take yourself, your blessed self, filled with the love of God, break yourself open and give yourself to others, you are fulfilling God's plan.

Jesus repeatedly emphasized this point. He took, blest, broke and gave to His disciples at His Last Supper with them, and among the five thousand, as well as when Jesus ate with friends after His Resurrection. The theme is clear.

Jesus came for us. He took, blest, broke and gave the bread. God took, blest, broke and gave His Son. We take, bless, break and give ourselves every day as moms.

In quite literal terms, one can easily understand the effort a mother puts forth in preparing a family meal: she plans, drags out cookbooks, walks the grocery aisles, dropping food into the cart, onto the counter, to the car, into the house, to the cupboards and fridge. Washes, chops, bakes and boils on and on until finally her meal is ready to be scarfed down in 10 minutes by her hungry brood. 10 minutes!

Hardly seems fair, does it? Took, blest, broke and gave. Nothing at all mentioned about fair. And it isn't fair. Life is not fair. We are to break open ourselves. The example is clear. Break. Not gently, carefully, tenderly peeling back layers of self. Break. What was once whole is suddenly in pieces.

Merriam-Webster's first definition of the verb "break": to separate into parts with suddenness or violence. Other definitions: fracture, rupture, violate, destroy. Get the picture, moms?

We live in a constant state of destruction if we are doing this thing called raising Christian children the right way. We have all seen the hands-off parents. They don't get messy. They don't expend too much energy raising their children. More often than not, the energy is eagerly expended not upon the children, but on the parents themselves. Sadly, I imagine we can all quickly bring to mind one such parent.

But would you want to be that kind of parent? I never would want to be. Never was. Never will be. Be an in-the-trenches mom, not the sideline mom. Break yourself open for all the world to see.

Copyright 2009 Maureen Locher