Adrian was the last to the car, after repeated honks of the horn. He emerged from the house in a crumpled, purple v-neck tee shirt, untucked from his beltless khakis -- which were dryer-fluffed, not ironed. While Mike and I looked at each other wordlessly rendering our disapproval of his apparel, Adrian began his opening argument in the case of "Parents vs. Teenager: What is appropriate attire for church," the proceedings for which lasted the entire length of our drive.
It's not always a pretty sight on Sunday mornings at our house, but the roast was in the oven, and we forged onward into Mother's Day anyway.
By sermon's end, the altar was littered with bent knees and repentant hearts. I stood with my own rent heart in the second row, attempting to absorb the heaviness of the "Glory Life" sermon that was spilling through the conviction. The sermon didn't celebrate mothers as much as it did life-surrender of biblical proportions that is unrecognizable to me. My daughters were among the bent. My pastor-husband knelt over the first row of chairs, a makeshift altar of his own, because at sermon's end, he's a sheep even though also the shepherd. He is soon joined by our son, who puts his own bowed head close to his dad's. He whispers spirit-somethings into his father's, and his Father's, ear.
I stand, overflowing now, while my family kneels before their Maker to reckon with their God.
Faith is a fight, and God is a heavyweight who aims to win. And in the winning, this mother receives her Day's gift: a family on their knees, fighting the good fight to surrender.
A tearful Noelle finds me with her head on my shoulder, arms around me, clinging tight,as if looking for an anchor, and offers, "Happy Mother's Day. I love you." Her heart, fragile from His swift wounding and swifter mending, beats so near to mine, in tandem again, even if just for this moment.
Adrian proudly displays his freshly cleansed white flag on Facebook:
Today, Adrian Michael Gonzalez no longer lives. Reports say he murdered his selfish desires and buried his flesh. He has taken on the identity of a man named Jesus Christ and is now living the way He would.
As we climb back in the car, I remember our earlier discussion of and embarrassment by Adrian's clothes today. The less than perfect purple tee shirt is now a reminder to me that we are forgiven, loved, and wear Christ's royalty. It may not have been appropriate for a Sunday morning, but looks can be deceiving.