Don’t worry about it!

“Don’t worry about it.” Every single time we asked one of our sons what was bothering him, he’d respond: “Don’t worry about it.” As his parents, of course we worried about it — whatever the “it” was. Was “it” failing a class or not making the team? Was “it” struggling with an assignment or a problem with a friend? “Don’t worry about it,” always triggered worry in us. Out of love, we want to know every single detail of our children’s lives — especially their worries. If kept to one’s self, worry grows. If revealed, we could offer a little help, a word of encouragement, or an idea for moving forward.

This Sunday’s Gospel speaks of a God we can trust as the Father knows and cares for every detail of our lives. Jesus instructs His disciples before sending them into the world. He prepares them to be strong in the face of worry or opposition. Jesus says, “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” How were they to stand straight in the face of fear? How do we proceed when worry strikes in the middle of night?

Fear grows and our minds darken when we conceal what worries us. The “it” multiples and mutates every time we sweep “it” under the mat, stuff “it” in the back of a cluttered drawer, or store “it” in a dark corner. Silence and secrets leave one trapped, deserted, and hopeless. Soon, “terror is on every side.” Think of the hidden bank account, the white lie, a secret website, or the failed dream.

Instead, bring “it” to the light — our worries, longings, sorrows, failures, concerns, sins — every detail of our lives. Reveal “it” to Jesus so He can speak of the Father’s love: “Do not be afraid. If God cares for a single, tiny, sparrow, how much more one of His sons or daughters? … So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” We are worth more, God wants more, and through Him, there is more peace, joy, and love.

As parents/grandparents, we name grace — God’s redeeming presence — each time we bring our worries to our loving Father. We speak with our children about their concerns, assuring them of our care for their every need. We encourage our children to reveal their worries to God through prayer — for our Heavenly Father, who loves them even more than we do, will light the way.

It was always easier when our son’s “it” was in the open; while rollerblading in middle school he struck a curb, went flying across the cement, and landed with his two front teeth dangling within his braces. We took quick action with a trip to the dentist to fix his very visible problem. If we conceal our problems, we worry and walk through life broken and bleeding.

We can trust God with our every worry. Ultimately, it is the Good Lord, who says to each of us, “Are you not worth more than many sparrows? Do I not know all the hairs on your head and every single detail of your life? Do I not want more for you than you even can imagine possible? So reveal what is concealed. And don’t worry about it. I’ve got you covered!” Now, that’s good news!

How will you encourage your children to reveal their concerns to you? To God?

Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To read more reflections or to connect with Mary Pedersen: www.marypedersen.com.