"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Friday, April 20, 2012

From Small Talk to Absolution

An excerpt from “Handing over the Goods”, an article by James Nestingen

“So, I suppose marriages and families are made of small talk. There are all kinds of routine information that gets shared. Carolyn and I are talking - everyday… She tells me about the weather, and she tells me about our dog, and who’s sick, and she tells me about her secretary who is visiting and what they’ve done, and I am very interested in that information. But, the magic always happens late in the conversation, and I know enough to wait for it. She expresses herself to me, and I express myself to her.

You see, that’s how love works. Love takes possession of the details. Love takes those little clichés, the minutiae of the day and turns them into gifts. All of a sudden, out of the routine, out of the small stuff, Christ Jesus is breaking loose in the words. So the information, while it is helpful and essential, is really preparatory to this… your sin is forgiven. I’m going to raise you from the dead. No power is going to ever hold you. There, Christ Jesus is making love to you. He’s speaking his Word to you. He’s breaking loose again, you see, he is saying it. And that is what the Word does. The fundamental characteristic of the Word in Christ Jesus is its power."

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That's what we are longing for every day. Jesus breaking loose in the midst of the details, diapers, and dialogue of every day life. The forgiveness of sin, woven in and out of conversations about which brand of diapers is the best, or who can watch the kids when it's time to go to the dentist. "Your sin is forgiven" is what enables us to enjoy our vocation as mothers, taking care of all those details and the small talk. "Your sin is forgiven" is the best news every day. And it is a wonderful thing, to see it happen, again and again. 


  1. yes, yes!
    This is the life of the Christian!

    God's hands and Words break through into our small talk and we are upheld, and it is yet another one of His miracles.

  2. As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for Thee, O lord. Amen.Thank you Mary.

  3. The entire article is worth a read. thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Emily, I really enjoy your blog but I'm terrible at commenting. I'm always encouraged and often lightened up :-) thank you.

  4. I am so glad Jesus meets us in the everyday details. Otherwise, I'd be utterly lost.

    And I don't know of anything that has freed me up more to be content and wholeheartedly geared in to staying at home and caring for my husband, children, and home, than the hearing and receiving of the forgiveness of my sins and of my complete justification in Christ's work and his ALONE! I am going to have to keep hearing it though. Daily. Hourly. Minutely!

    Thanks for this Mary, and for everything else you've put up lately. :)

  5. I too need to hear the good news that it's His work ALONE that justifies me, daily, hourly, minutely. I'm glad He meets me in the details and neighbors of my everyday life!