I have a devotional book that has daily meditations from the letters, writings and sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’m not at all consistent about it, I just pick it up from time to time, and today was one of those days. Today’s reading is an excerpt from Life Together, a classic book that I read for a leadership class five (yikes) years ago:
“Praying and working are two different things. Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer. Just as it was God’s will that human beings should work six days and rest and celebrate before the face of God on the seventh, so it is also God’s will that every day should be marked for the Christian both by prayer and work… The inseparable unity of both will only become clear when work and prayer each receives its own undivided due. Without the burden and labor of the day, prayer is not prayer; and without prayer, work is not work.”
I read this in the middle of the day, with Torre sleeping on my lap. The morning had passed by quickly with diaper changes, nursing, eating something myself and walking the dog around the block (Torre’s first trip in the stroller ). Laundry was waiting, and dishes, plus the nagging desire to pick up around the house. I’m hoping to give Torre a bath and also have a nap, which is part of my work as a mom because I want to be at my best during the night as well as day. Today is the first day that it has really felt like I’m working, so to read this from Bonhoeffer was affirming, and also convicting: as I give myself over to the work of mothering, I need to also give myself over to prayer. It is too easy for one to become empty without the other.