It’s 5am. My time; my time to wake and take my sweet and bitter cup to my lips; sip and send sleep away and pray. I take and read God’s word for me and I let him guide my prayer with the words of Psalm 40, “Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me.” I close my eyes and allow some of the words to float to the surface of my thoughts, “will”–what is will? a decision, God’s will of love and mercy. “Obedience”–ab-audire means to hear or listen to. Then I hear them, the sound of little feet gently padding up the stairs; then I see them, the sleepy eyes shielded from the gentle light of the reading lamp. My seven year old son curls up beside me as I read and ponder the day’s readings, he warms my side and covers my feet with his blanket. My heart swells, my feet warm and then it comes, I hear it. “Mom, can you make me some hot cocoa?” (cue vinyl record scratch) My face wretches a little as I look down on his, my mind makes a thousand reasons why I should NOT be making this boy –who is plenty old enough to make his own and certainly doesn’t need the extra sugar–a cup of hot cocoa during my time with the Lord! I look away, sigh, then remember the words I was just contemplating: “will,” a decision, love and mercy, “obedience,” hearing and doing.
What decision will I make in that moment of intrusion?
I have a choice, love and mercy or a selfish grasp at my time? “Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me” and not only open ears, but eyes open to see a way to grow in love right here, a mouth open with a smile to lovingly obey this little request and a heart open to love more than I want to at this moment of time. My time? There is no time that I have that I wasn’t first given, there is no reason to sit and pray other than to transform me into a more loving person, to grow the love that started when he was conceived. Here’s my chance. Here’s my decision. Here is where God’s will of love and mercy comes crashing into my will, my comfort, my time, my decision. I choose love. A tiny sacrifice of love; what is love anyway, but a decision to suffer a little bit for someone else. “Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will.”