Monday, November 16, 2015

Being the Pacifier



He's just using you as a pacifier.

I hear that word, the accusation, and nerdy appreciator of etymology I am, my mind immediately works through the statement.
Pacifier; one who pacifies.  Pacify; to create or bring peace.  
And I'm left to wonder: what's the problem? 

My kids never took to a plastic type of pacifier. I'm normally grateful for that though there were times when I desperately tried it and would have welcomed it. But maybe that's why I just can't relate to the negativity that seems to surround the word. That word to me is a good thing. Pacifier. Something or someone who brings peace. You don't want him using you as a pacifier, do you?

Well, yeah.  I kinda do.

My child is scared, lonely, agitated, overstimulated, hurt and I can easily give him peace by offering him a part of me or by merely being present. Yes. Yes, I do want that.  

I don't think I'm really the most peaceful of people by nature. Not by a long shot. (My husband is stifling the guffaws.) But I want to be. And with this simple thing I can be a bringer of peace. I can train myself to be that bringer of peace.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, the pacifiers, for they shall be called sons of God."

Yes. I'll do it. The world is a wonderful place but it can also be a big and scary and violent place. With this simple little act I can bring a tiny bit of peace to our little corner of it. Comfort the mind and heart and body of one of His little ones. By offering a part of me I can in some small way prepare and ease this little soul into that big and dangerous world. In offering that gift, I can maybe even teach my children that each one of us is called in some way to be a pacifier, a bringer of peace to a troubled and anxious world. Oh, it's tiny, I know. I'm sure some will say I'm making a stretch. But the little acts of motherhood are important. Do small things with love, a little nun in Calcutta once said, and we say we believe it. Then there are no acts of love too small. I can bring peace with my spirit and words and I have the opportunity to do so with my very body. With this small act of bodily love I can in a very tiny way be as Him.

"Peace I leave you.  My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you."

Our culture is weird about the body. Worship it, shame it, abuse it, enslave yourself to it. But don't receive it. Don't gift it the way it was designed. We aren't repulsed by the use of a rubber or plastic pacifier but if the baby needs to be soothed and mom puts the baby to her breast, that's seen as giving in, as setting them up to "use" you, as a hindrance to freedom and independence. Some even think it repulsive. This disordered fallen world takes something beautiful and giftable and twists it into something gross, an offensive habit to break.

It is hard, this gift of self each one of us is called to learn. I fail daily. I have so much more work to do and ways to learn it. But this is one way that I can. And, of course, there are certainly times when I need others to be the peace giver in their own God-ordained way. There are times when for both our sakes it is better to help this little one learn gradually and gently how to be soothed in other ways, too. But I won't cringe when I am called to be the one. Or at least, I'll try not to. I'll see the beauty and the opportunity and I'll do my best to give generously.

I am not called out at the moment to do spectacular things to help bring peace to this world that seems crazier by the week...to march or fly to other countries or enact treaties or write new laws. I can donate and pray and raise awareness in my own little community but I cannot change the minds or hearts or actions of masses. I cannot do much tangibly right now to help when the world feels like it is crumbling with hate, when it feels like the violence far outweighs the peace.

What I can do is be a peacemaker here in this little domestic church He's given me.

I can offer this tiny little gift to a little one in His name and maybe in that moment...maybe that is doing the one small thing I can do to be peace a world that desperately needs it. Maybe anyway.

So yes, I'll be the pacifier. When I can, God and me willing, I'll choose to bring peace.



18 comments:

  1. Ohhh I love this! Ive been told this a number of times too and just didn't see why it was a problem that my baby wanted his mama *again*. And not only that he wanted me but that I could settle him so sweetly! It really has been such a gift to be able to nurse my boys thus far! Pray I can do the same for this little one! :)

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    1. Praying for you and can't wait to see that little one!

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  2. Sharing with my La Leche League mommies! So beautiful! Thank you for posting.

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  3. Thank you for these beautiful words! I'm still often the pacifier to my three yo son and that's OK by me because he's only my little guy for a short time and I want to be there for him always. It's so sad how far our society has started from the natural order of things, especially the purpose of women's breasts as the way babies and toddlers are nourished and comforted.

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    1. If I've learned anything these past eleven years it's that every stage is so passing in the greater scheme even if it feels like eternity in the moment!

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  4. I needed to hear this tonight as I sit here with my 8 week old baby who has wanted to nurse every 20 minutes for the last 4 hours.

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    1. You're doing a good work <3 Hope it maybe meant that you got a good stretch of sleep after :)

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  5. Yesssssss. Thank you. My 13 month old is teething, and I needed this.

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  6. Aw, this is so beautiful! I treasured all my nursing hours. And I was so, so grateful when my baby had to have bilateral inguinal hernia repair when he was two---and I was still nursing him. It seemed to me such a beautiful, peaceful, comforting and quick recovery. Made it SO worth all those negative jabs that those who don't understand like to give. Keep up the good work!!!

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    1. I had a smaller but similar experience with one of my kids who needed to have a biopsy done. It was definitely a blessing to be able to soothe him right away!

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  7. I believe 'being the pacifier' has benefits for us, mothers. I often reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to breastfeed because it makes me slow down, to be, and being the pacifier is part of that

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  8. Thank you. Please keep on writing. You don't know me, but your writing is inspiring to many moms. Especially ones like me that may not have the best support system. Sometimes it is so hard to live in this world. It helps to see others walk the walk with you.

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! It means a lot. You're definitely not alone :)

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