Just as a father has compassion on his children,
ADONAI has compassion on those who fear him.
For he understands how we are made,
he remembers that we are dust.
Yes, a human being’s days are like grass,
he sprouts like a flower in the countryside –
but when the wind sweeps over, it’s gone;
and its place know it no more.
Every wise woman builds up her home,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
I think that particular proverb must be my very favorite ever. You can read it in so many different ways and it still instructs us to take care of our home, not just our house.
These two passages from the Bible really press upon me where our priorities should be as women of faith, mothers of faith. I’ve heard it said often by women who have children and then go outside the home for a job that they “want to make a difference in the world.” I think that’s all well and good; we all want to make a difference in our world, but the Bible clearly says here that our time on earth is fleeting and meaningless. In the end, your impact is biggest on your children and your husband, and to entrust your children’s care to relative strangers and compete with your husband over who’s career is more important is “tearing your house down with your own hands” only to have your existence and “difference” forgotten about relatively quickly in the span of time.
When I think about my grandmother, who died nearly four years ago, I wonder who remembers her. Her husband, her daughters, and her grandchildren do. I’m sure that there are people out there scratching their heads trying to remember “what that lady’s name was,” but it’s her family that still thinks of the difference she made in our lives, we still cook her recipes and talk about her over dinner.
It does make me wonder why we still ponder over things that people have said in the past, like Aristotle and Plato. I’ll admit I haven’t studied them to any degree that is notable; did they say anything that is truly worth repeating? Or do we just contemplate their speeches because we like to think we think deeply. You can’t deny that people have said and done things in the past that have left a lasting impression on the world. Martin Luther, Mother Theresa and Abraham Lincoln all come to mind in an instant. But they weren’t mothers.
I am thankful today that God understands that I am simply dust and he loves me and forgives me when I start tearing my house down with my own hands. I am thankful for all the blessings he has bestowed on me and for a mind clear enough to see and appreciate them as the blessings that they are. I think I’ll go do some laundry.