Tuesday, December 22, 2015
There is, of course, the normal bedtime-- the merry-go-round of trips to the bathroom, drinks of water, requests for stuffed animals, tears over the end of play, and fussing at sisters. But then occasionally there are other nights. The little girl falls asleep in your arms while you are singing Christmas carols, and the middle girl curls under the blanket you have knit her, and the oldest sighs a tiny sigh when you turn out the lights. The joy of mothering does not depend upon such moments for survival...but in such moments, the joy indeed glows bright as you remember that it is a grand and glorious and fleeting thing to be singing your daughters to sleep.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
(Psalm of Complaint)
There are girls dying at fifteen
and girls who wish they had long been dead.
There are girls bought and sold.
There are girls left open for anyone
to track mud into their souls.
There are girls who have bootprints all over them.
Not just in deserts.
Not just in back alleys.
In our own churches, in Your own Body,
there are girls.
Made silent. Made scapegoat. Made shameful.
And then there are my girls asleep in their beds,
and the blessing of it crushes me.
(How many mothers would remove their own bones,
through their own flesh,
with their own hands,
to see their daughters in a pink nightgown
curled up against a stuffed rabbit safe in bed.....)
There are girls whose sorrow
I cannot carry.
I can clench my first but
all I feel is the smallness of my hands.
The frailty of my fingers.
There are girls whose grief would snap my spine with its weight.
I do not presume that I can bear it.
But my Lord,
you have borne our grief and carried our sorrows.
(Were you not despised,
were you not made an amusement,
were you not sold?)
I lay beside my daughters and I unclench my fist
because I know there are no girls
beyond the reach of Your rescue.
There are girls whose ashes will be turned to beauty
who will be spotless,
who will dance in your courts, who will never cease to speak
to shout, to sing worthy is the Lamb that was slain
There are girls
who will be made
(Psalm of Imprecation)
there are men
Let the Word wield the sword
I cannot heft.
Let it come from His mouth.
Let the Word divide between the bone and marrow
that I cannot pierce.
Let it rend deep the hearts of men.
How I long to see them cut in two!
But let it be Your wound,
the cut that makes whole.
I cannot look away from what they have done.
I cannot be satisfied that they will be tamed.
I must pray for a death.
But I pray that it may be the death
that brings eternal life.
I pray that they may be crucified
because wrath must fall
and wrath has fallen
The cup is full to the brim
but I pray
that they might be brought to the One
who drank it to the dregs
Such drink too strong and bitter for their throats.
They would choke
for all eternity.
And so I cannot pray
that they will suffer their own punishment
But that they will fall before
the one whose stripes have healed them
Rise up, oh God
And bind them up.
Uncover their nakedness!
And clothe them in Christ
Lay bare the poverty of their spirits!
For the poor in spirit
will see God
And I long for these men
to see God
To be no longer themselves
but my brothers