Saturday, September 12, 2015

To My Daughter, On the Day You Learned A New Word






You are old enough to read the sign he was holding, old enough to understand he was talking about cutting up babies, but what you couldn't figure out was why.

 
You came to me for that. I had to explain to you that not all wombs are safe places. I used the gentlest words I could, but murder gently worded is still ugly. You said that word even before I did. It took you less than ten seconds. Murder. Everyone has a right to live. Everyone. 

 


You were fierce, and you were weeping.

I will not ask you to stop crying, and I won't tell you that you shouldn't be so angry.

 
I will tell you that it is okay for that ache to cut deep. 


I hope that twenty-three years later, when your daughter is sitting on your lap asking these same questions, that you'll still have tears and anger.
 
I know I do.

 
You couldn't understand how it was that people couldn't see life when it was right in front of them. We talked of blinded eyes and our need for a lamp for our feet, a light for our path. Of the bonds of grace that keep us from such darkness, that give us eyes to see.

 


And we talked about resistance-- not by street signs that scare children but by arms linked with other broken-hearted-brave men and women. How we open our hands and do what we can. You know where your Giving Jar is going now. You know why we pray for crisis pregnancy ministries and churches and women who have believed lies. You know your God cares for those babies no one wants. You know what you'll tell your daughter, even what want you'll tell the President. 

 
That's where you are right now, with your baby doll beside you, writing a protest
letter in your notebook. I wrote one too, when I was your age. My mother helped me mail it. I will help you.


When you first realized what that sign meant, you said you wanted to move to an island where all babies would be safe. I would love to live on that island with you. But I had to tell you that we can't outrun sin. We carry it with us. It hounds us and haunts us. The only hope for our murderous hearts is an entirely new heart. The only refuge is Jesus. Our safe place isn't an island but a city on a hill. I will live in that city with you.



And when we at last see the glory of our King cover the earth as the water covers the seas, we will know we are forever home.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ten After-School Promises

Ten promises I can make to my girls when they come home from school:


  1. I'll listen to your day before I make you unpack your lunchbox

  2. There will sometimes be cookies. Not always. But often enough.

  3. When you tear all the toys off your shelf and make a blanket fort, I will do my best to remember that you've been trying your best to listen and learn all day. And that it kept you quiet so your older sister could do her math. Okay, relatively quiet.

  4. When you cry over playground injustices, I'll try to do more hugging than talking. 

  5. Yes, you've got homework but I'll make time for bike rides and walks with Grandma and Lucy The Wonder-Chihuahua. And yes, you can have ten minutes to read that book.

  6. I am your study sidekick. Daring in the face of division....stoic in the face of spelling.... glib even while checking grammar. By the end of the year maybe you'll have learned enough to appreciate my awesome alliterative abilities. 

  7. We'll say no to things when you need a family night.

  8. When I speak without love and lead without grace, I will ask your forgiveness.

  9. When bedtime comes, I will be exhausted. You will be too....so much that you'll forget you're tired and try to do acrobatics from the top of the bunk bed. But we'll pray and sing and snuggle and the last thing I'll say before I shut the door is that I love you more than all the stars in the sky.
     
  10. I will always mean it.