Wonder Boi Writes

25 songs of Christmas: Dec 15 – Joseph’s Lullaby

Today’s song is another one that tugs at this mother’s heart.  It’s called “Joseph’s Lullaby,” but really it’s a song that any parent could understand.  I’ve already talked this season about how much I love and identify with Mary, but I think Joseph is pretty awesome, too, though I find it harder to identify with him.  I just don’t think I’m that strong or good. I don’t mean to be crass, but if I had a dream about an angel telling me my fiancé was pregnant with someone else’s child, but I should go ahead and care for her and the baby anyway, I would assume I’d eaten something bad before bed.

I like to believe I would recognize the Lord in that encounter, but I am by no means certain that I would. I am even less certain I would be able to rise to the challenge.  Caring for a wife and child is hard work even when you asked for the job, even when you want it more than anything.  Marriage and parenting are hard work under the best circumstances.  Taking on that role when tired and poor and totally unprepared for even the possibility of fatherhood would have the potential to break a person. And then there’s the prospect of raising God thrown in to the mix.

I have a great kid, and I love him for so many reasons.  He is by all accounts pretty near perfect.  He is well-mannered and sleeps well and has a good sense of humor and is largely more self-sufficient than any 7-year-old has a right to be, and still some days he exhausts me.  Even when see my own actions mirrored in his own.  Even when I understand what made him who he is.  Even when I look into his eyes and see my own, I can still wonder, “What am I doing here? How am I supposed to raise this kid?” I barely feel up to the weight of that responsibility on my best days. Can you imagine doing that job without being able to even truly comprehend where your kid came from? Conceived by the holy spirit? That’s a lot to parent and yet, he did.

It takes a lot to be completely present for you child, but it takes something truly special to be that kind of influence for someone else’s.  When I think of Joseph, loving, kind, gentle Joseph, I see step-parents and adoptive parents and foster parents and grandparents who take on the role of parent.  I see non-biological gay and lesbian parents or families who conceive in nontraditional ways for whatever reason.  I see big brothers and sisters stepping into roles they never asked for.  I see teachers and mentors who go the extra mile before and after work and on weekends.  I see peace workers who put their own lives at risk to care for orphans in war-torn areas.  I see doctors who rock babies with Ebola or AIDS.  I see people who step up and guard children’s hearts so they can live peacefully, sometimes for their whole lives and sometimes just during the parts of their lives when they need it most. I am in awe of parents like that.

In Joseph I see the person each and every one of us is called to be, not just for our own children, but for every child who needs rest and hope and love.

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December 15, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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