Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taking the Underwear Off Our Head

Matthew 18:1-5
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Greetings to all! This was part of the Gospel reading today at Mass and it is one that I have heard countless times over the years. What typically happens when I am very familiar with a particular Gospel reading is that my mind immediately goes to, yeah yeah, yeah, be innocent, be pure, be simple I know this old dog and pony show. And sure enough the priest went on in his homily to say that yes we are supposed to be innocent like little children and I was like see, I have heard this one before, but then, he through a curve ball at me. He said we also need to be dependent and trust in our Heavenly Father, just as children are dependent and trust of their earthly parents.

That got my mind thinking about Ella, Dude, and yes even Cate. Although Ella believes, at the ripe old age of four that she is capable of doing just about everything on her own, unbenouced to herself she cannot. She still needs someone to cook her food, put her to bed at a reasonable hour, which last night was a daddy night, so they got to stay up later watching cartoons and eating sugar candy because mommy was not home. Dude, needs some one to help him put his Spiderman undies back on, that boy can get them off faster than lighting and usually in places that I would prefer him keep them on his little body, like my mother-in-law’s front yard where he decided it was a good place to pee because he saw the dog peeing in the front yard. Cate needed someone to change her poopy diapers and to hold her bottle while she ate. All three of them are and were dependent on their mommy and daddy to take care of their everyday needs. They have complete trust that if they are hungry, they will be feed. If they can’t get their underwear off their head and back on their bottoms, that there will be someone there to help them. If their leotard is stuck on their face that mommy or daddy knows the trick to get it off. They place all of the trust in us and for the most part we don’t let them down, because we love them, we care for them, and we want the best for them and underwear stuck on their face in their Nana’s front yard is not necessarily the best for them or the son-in-law, which happens to be me.

After that train of thought had left the station, I was reminded of the scripture verse Matthew 6:30, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you.” In these troubling times that we find ourselves this is where our dependence and trust must rise to the top of our hearts. We must willingly and frequently fling ourselves into the loving and guiding hands of our Heavenly Father. Those times when life feels like it pulls our underpants over our face and we can’t see and we can’t get them off, God is right there trying to help us to get them off and so often we, like my four year daughter, just keep telling Him, “No, I can do it myself,” and He patiently asks, “Will you let me help?”

I spoke to a good buddy of mine on the phone this morning and he asked the question, “What is the one thing that you feel like is pulling you through this time?” I said, well, it’s actually two things. First, it’s Daily Mass and the Eucharist, as often as I can get there. When I am going to daily Mass and receiving the Eucharist things stay in perspective and I feel as though I have the strength to continue on. When life gets “busy” and I “can’t” make it to Mass, is when I start losing hope and losing my focus of who is really guiding me through this. I start thinking “I” have to get the underwear off my head myself, instead of just trusting and accepting the help that God is trying to give me. Secondly, I continue to invite God into these emotions and moments of real heartache. Over the past year I have begun to work on some inner healing prayer with my spiritual director. The premise of this type of prayer is that attached to every memory is an emotion and as time goes on whenever that memory is triggered you experience that emotion again. Through inner healing prayer you invite or ask God to take you back into your heart and into certain memories where you felt like He wasn’t there and to show you that He was in fact there. This process allows those old memories and emotions associated with those memories to begin to be healed and you do not have to continue living out of the past hurts. I know this may sound a little crazy and I was skeptical at first big time, but God has really rocked my heart over the past year and given me a lot of freedom. So, what I told my buddy was either I invite God in now and let Him reveal Himself to me and show me that He is here with me or I am going to live the next twenty years out of abandonment, hurt, and anger, because I think, “God didn’t show up.”

What I am getting at is the more that we can depend on God and trust that He will show up, the more that we can live freely and enjoy our lives that He gives us here on earth. Have you ever just sat and watched little kids play? They have no worries, you know why? Because they ultimately trust that they are being watched, guarded, and protected by the eye of their parents or people that their parents know and trust. My prayer is that during this process of grieving that we as a family can continue to learn to depend and trust that God is going to be with us, comforting us, guiding us, and ultimately healing us, even if we can’t get our underwear off our head, He knows the trick. I ask that you pray that our dependence and trust might increase, that we stop looking to ourselves or to things of this world and start looking to our Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we need. Much Love, The Cantrells

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful. I continuously appreciate your honesty (though I understand it's a lot more for you than for me). And thank you for sharing the priest's "curveball." It is so true. I always feel like I can do it, but must be fully dependent on God. And the underwear analogy might help me remember that a little bit better in my day to day happenings. Thank you. Much love and abundant blessings to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

we are still here, praying and focusing on your specific needs

love,
the bermans

Jolene said...

Charlie and Ali,
I too also love the readings about being like little children to God. It is true, He is our "Dad" and we need to trust Him. I know this is so hard at times to not take control of things. (type A personality) You both seem to be doing the best you can at any given moment. Keep the trust and hope alive.
Love,
Jolene

Anonymous said...

As usual... God gave you words to comfort me today when you are the one who is using these words to heal, you are healing us!
My hubby was let go from his job today and I was feeling discouraged and frustrated and you reminded me that God WILL take care of us! Thanks Charlie!!

Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

Charlie,
So good to hear your voice today. There are days when I read your blog and I find what I didn't know I needed. When I read today's Scripture this morning I thought of Cate. I am still in prayer for your family and will continue without cease. May God continue to pour His Mercy and Blessings upon you. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!!!! YSIC,Melanie

Ragin-Cajun said...

My wife and kids and I just finished our evening prayers about 2 minutes ago. As always, your family was remembered.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was exactly what I needed to hear today. I am amazed at how much wisdom and humor can come out of your mouth at the same time. Thank you for continuing to share. We are still here...still praying!

The Magill Family said...

Thank you for your theraputic words! Amazing how you are able to help so many by just putting the thoughts of your heart out there for all to see. As always, keeping your family in our prayers!

kellysuch said...

It's so typical of you, Charlie, to make underwear on the head connect with God! But how true you are in re:to attending daily Mass. I thank God every day, throughout the day, that I am able to teach at Ascension, to have the opportunity to connect daily with the readings.I feel I would certainly be a different person were it not for our chapel time. Kiss those gorgeous kids for me! Big HUGE hugs to Ali...I know going back to work has got to be a major challenge, to say the least.
Always praying,
Kelly Such Stewart

Claire said...

only you can pull off talking about underwear and prayer at the same time. love yall :-)

-band camp claire

Lila Lambert said...

In reading Conversations with God, this verse really struck me...how Jesus looks beyond the veil of human passions and penetrates our innermost self where we are alone, poor and naked(our undies are usually on our head)..He doesn't settle for examining our human misery and prescribing a remedy. He makes actual contact with that misery, and cannot bear to know of it without taking it upon Himself...

The Dunbars said...

We love you guys Charlie & Ali. We continue to lift you up daily.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for such wonderful words...my mind needed them today. I have been too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and my personality is one where I feel like I need to do everything without help from anyone, including sometimes God.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to trust in Him more. Still praying as always for your family!

Anonymous said...

OK Charlie.......on Ella's info paper????!!!! Mandy was almost in tears! You are so funny.I love it!!! I always pull fast ones on Mandy!! Ella is a pleasure.She is funny too.Oh and Ali thanks for the "teacher basket".I am always borrowing Mandy's nail file!!!It was perfect,everthing in it!!! We love you guys!!! God Bless,Kim Hebert

Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to be so honest. I am inspired by your internal healing prayer and know that it would do wonders with certain memories in my life. I always think that those hurts will just fade in time, but several years later they still strike up anger each time I think of them and I keep wondering why I can't get over it! Thank you for sharing that with us. God Bless you!

Megan Perkins said...

Absolutely beautiful, Charlie. Thank God for you and your words that touch so many.

Continuing to pray for you and Ali and Ella and Dude as you meander this painful journey. Thank you for asking for specific prayers ...

Megan

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie,
Once again....my favorite writer. I think your honesty and transparency of heart is what makes your writing so inspiring--so easy to relate to. In "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, he said (something like) if he had to just stick by three words in life...it would be: "Tell the Truth" and if he had three more...it would be "All the time".
That's you--the truth in your writing comes through loud and clear--all the time.
You keep writing. We will keep lifting you and Ali up in prayer--Much love to you both. May God's grace fall all over you!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Charlie and Ali ... I don't write often on the blog, but I'm still with you and journeying beside you in prayer. Tonight I read your recent posts, and I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are on my gratitude list each day. You are deeply special to me, pal. My prayers for you continue .....

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you all today and everyday. Praying for peace and comfort. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Cate...and your family. Much Love!! Stephanie Johnson

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali...My prayers for you remain strong. - Jane W

Anonymous said...

as always, you are in our prayers...

ben and his girls

Anonymous said...

children- Gods teaching tool for us all :) Thanks Charlie!

Tricia