When you’re running around with a magic fairy wand in your hand, getting your hair brushed is about the last thing on your list. And it’s hard to change into a frog when you’ve got three heads of long, tangled hair to groom.
Usually, I just want the job done so I can move on to the next task on the Mom list. And usually, they just want to run around and play pretend. Somehow, we have to meet in the middle if there is going to be peace in this household. I soon realize that the answer is neither to forget brushing their hair nor make them stop playing. The answer is to do both at the same time.
And so I sing Rapunzel’s song as I brush their magical hair. I tell them it’s glowing and they fill the house full of giggles and imaginary invisible animals.
I can’t help but think of the relationship between obedience and grace in this blessed fairy-tale I call my daily life. Works without grace, though often named “good,” aren’t obedient works. And playing pretend without obedience forfeits grace as well. So the answer isn’t to forget doing good works. It isn’t to stop offering grace to the young babes in the faith just because they like to play pretend and seldom like to obey. The answer is to do both at the same time.
The Christian life isn’t about placing a greater value on whether you’re the one singing the song or the one holding the brush. Maybe it’s about having the grace to see both as equally important. Maybe it’s about learning to hold still while your elders brush your knots out. Maybe it’s about learning to sing a song of brand new hopes and dreams when you’re the elder holding the brush. Maybe it’s not all about obedience. Maybe it’s not all about grace. Maybe it’s about all of both at the same time.
I don’t know. But I do know that, despite my big dreams and billboard ambitions, God gave me an audience of just three. Their names are Mia, which means “mine,” Addie, which means, “my witness,” and Maylee, which means “beautiful.” They teach me just as much as I teach them. I have a small calling as far as the world is concerned, but it is a good one.