The Better Part of Me
It is one of those seasons — where there is so much to do my head is spinning and the daily grind threatens, at any moment, to pull me under a current filled with fear, self-doubt and flat-out exhaustion. Yet here I am, 4 in the morning, unable to sleep as a thousand thoughts run like a sped-up loop in my head.
I get out of my futile attempt to sleep, because there is something deep inside that needs to be written; a thanksgiving that needs to be shared.
My workday — and I suspect many of yours out there — goes something like this: the first part of the day is spent laying tasks out, and then you get about your work, crushing the to-do list. You start to feel the immense weight of your in-tray at around 4pm, where your plan to “go home on time” faces inevitable vapourisation when pressed against the reality of deadlines. It is that moment where you take a deep breath and dig in, and if the road has been inordinately long, you find nothing. You’ve been running on fumes so long that there’s really nothing left but a dark and empty void at the pit of your stomach.
But this isn’t what I want to share. It is about the measure of grace — the light that Tolkien wrote about.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
My wife has been the bringer of God’s grace for me during this time. Just when things threaten to overwhelm me, my phone buzzes with a message from her. A short video of Joshi trying to haul his humongous behind in an attempt to stand; Caleb doing a hilarious interpretation of his sister’s Chinese Wushu sequence; Anne’s voice in the background, excited at whatever activity they were embarking on.
Faith, like many other homemakers, sometimes feels that she isn’t contributing as much as she could because she isn’t out there “earning money”. Those are such foolish thoughts, implanted into minds by an irrational and (dare I say it) demonic drive towards materialism. We have devalued the invaluable and traded in the priceless for the worthless. The little moments that Faith sends me — these moments of my children’s lives, can never be bought, redeemed or clawed back once they are gone.
I am so blessed that she is there for these moments, and that my children have their mother with them. She is the better extension of myself, the best part of me, and there is nothing greater I can provide for my children whom I love more than life itself.