Bringing Order From Chaos (in Other Words, Being a Mom)

You guessed it. Here’s another Mother’s Day article where somebody is saying that moms have the hardest job in the world. But don’t glance past this one. It will be different. I promise.

Wives and moms often joke about how their husbands are as much of a child to them as their children are. Guys, don’t get offended about this. We know that we tend to be more impulsive and obnoxious than our wives. We can walk past a pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor for weeks without noticing them. And it’s always easier to throw the dishes in the sink, instead of rinsing them off and putting them in the dishwasher.  We find toilet humor more amusing than we should. Movies like Dumb and Dumber didn’t become mega-hits because mothers thought they were funny. Men are wired differently.

When I met my amazing and beautiful wife nearly 19 years ago, I had just come off of a stint where I had lived with 3 other guys in a mobile home on a ranch outside of Aztec, New Mexico. Call it “testosterone heaven.” The dishes didn’t need to be done until you ran out of paper plates. If you were looking for clothes to wear, you found the shirt and jeans that smelled the least. It couldn’t have gotten more stereotypically masculine than that.

It was chaos.

I moved back to Colorado. And a couple of months later, I met Christy. I knew on our second date that I was going to marry her. Somehow I convinced her that I wasn’t crazy, and a month later she agreed. We were married on the anniversary of the day we met.

And then, she started “raising me.” Months of living with only guys, or on my own completely, had reinforced those negative behaviors that I mentioned above. And Christy had a lot of work ahead of her.

She had to bring order to chaos.

Jesus came to bring order to chaos, also. One of the most common Hebrew greetings of Jesus’ day was “Shalom Aleichem.” It means, “Peace be unto you.” Our Americanized filter loses the real power of this phrase. Shalom is most often translated as “peace.” But it means more than that. We define peace as “the absence of conflict.” The Hebrew idea is much more powerful. Shalom means, “the restoration of perfect order; the removal of chaos.”

Chaos is formlessness. Wilderness. Confusion. Emptiness. The Hebrew word is “tohu.” It’s the way the Creator chose to describe the universe before He crafted it, formed it, and spoke life into it.

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. – Genesis 1:2 ESV

The Creator of the Universe saw what Creation – and humanity – could be. And He spoke life over it.

Jesus did the same. The Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached, was a radical shift from life based solely upon religious ritual. It was an understanding that beyond these rules, was a perfect existence that could only be found through Him. So, He sacrificed Himself to clear the way.

And just as the Creator chose to look beyond the chaos of an unfinished creation, our wives and mothers look beyond our unfinished lives and see us not for who we are, but for who we could be. Just as our Savior saw our potential, and knew that this could only be achieved through His sacrifice, our wives and mothers give themselves up daily to open the way for a better life for their families.

There couldn’t be a more “Christ-like” act than this.

That’s what Jesus has called us to do. Look at Nepal. Baltimore. Syria. Gaza. The best description of the world today is chaos. But this chaos is not just on the headlines of the latest CNN broadcast. This chaos is present in the marriage next door; in the life of the family who’s daughter has been fighting cancer for years, and just at the moment that they think they’ve turned the corner, the bad report comes in; in the dad who just lost his job and doesn’t know how to tell his family.

We are called to bring order to this chaos. We are called to see past the surface, and into the potential. We are called to notice the disorder in the lives of those around us, and become motivated to do our part to bring “shalom” to it.

We’re called to be more like our mothers.

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