I won’t worship with community today – no “church” services. I chose this day to sleep late and enjoy true Sabbath rest. To lament a little, to escape a little. To ponder. To write.
To be relocated in hope, deep in the corners of my mind where only God can interpret and renew the reimagining that I need to see, and hear, and feel.
And to know, I am seen.
The world only gets more broken with each passing year, gender, racial, and religious oppressions are grievous, wars and refugees increase. In my mind’s eye, I see the suffering and loss of babies, women, and children, worldwide. The judgment that still falls upon single women and childless women, sex workers, working women, and women warriors. Expectations of what you should do and be which are so often not who you are.
My own sadness which is a just a tiny molecule in a galaxy of intense suffering mingle with the voices of those weeping.
A close friends daughter is slowly dying. I know she is holding the pain of loss and the joy of one more day tightly together. Another mourns her singleness and deep desire to have a child. Yet another mourns the suicide of her son, and another the loss of her infant. Another empty nest.
Meanwhile, multitudes are kept hidden by the abusers who hold them.
Galaxies of galaxies of pain, joy, and what is.
I no longer see a dichotomy between suffering and joy – they are held in that space between the two where hope rests and where God works – all blended together in a Trinitarian dance – the perichoresis of us.
I will always remember my first time attending Plattsburgh Faith Assembly on Mothers Day, 2005. We had moved into the small community a month before. After about 17 moves it was our “forever home.” Our dream farm purchased in part by my father who was to move in with us. He died two days before.
The pastor had asked all mothers to stand up along the back wall. My introverted cells were freaking out over the thought, but all my kids were making a bigger scene at trying to get me to stand up. Little did I know mothers would be asked to raise their hands at “one child,” “two children” “three children” … “When he said “more than five” I knew I was in trouble with ten who called me “mom” at that time.
When you lead an active busy life the time goes swiftly. We were farmers, parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, students, community volunteers, college small group leaders – we were going to die in that community. Home.
Life was a whir of relationships. It wasn’t unusual to have fifteen, twenty, thirty people in our home. The whir was slowly chipped away but never did I imagine Dave would lose his life long job, or that a job loss would be followed by so much change.
Today I remember a better time when laughter rang and small feet ran, friends gathered, and family abounded. Before the scattering. Before the brokenness. Before the losses. Before the days of social media and cell phones further disconnected people while simultaneously shouting the joys of others. Today I’m thankful for lunch with grandkids and those who I can laugh with. I’m thankful that I can touch the lives of other women who have suffered from the loss of stillbirths, broken relationships, miscarriages, divorces, child loss, financial loss, abortions…
I see you.
I identify with the mothers who wish they had known then what they know now. Before the mistakes and irreversible decisions. Before the miscommunications and wrong perceptions. Before the pain.
I see you.
I join with all those whose memories of their own mothers bring visions of abuse, neglect, and pain. Or those who can only mourn the loss of what never was, in place of joyful, motherly love.
God sees you.
God see you, loves you… delights in you. Delights in you.
You are a Trinitarian gift to the world…
…wrapped in all the mistakes, the brokenness, the pain, the hiding – the beauty. God calls you.
Humanity calls you to lift up your heads and be the role models of what is real, and true, and deep, and redemptive.
So rejoice this day, lament this day, wail, weep, cry, shout, sing, dance, struggle, rest …
I see you.
If we have the freedom to be a voice for others, we have the freedom to be a voice for ourselves.
See them. Be heard. Be seen.
I see you.