Monday, November 30

Holding My Breath

I'm not very brave. That's probably one of the reasons that faith in an invisible God comes effortlessly, naturally to me. Needing Him is like needing air or water or shelter. I know it. So I believe.

Today has been a scary day. Until this moment, with the house bursting with energy, with newly-hung lights promising memory-making, merry-making, with the distraction of chores and need upon need, I felt I was navigating the uncertainty of the day well. But as the house grows silent and the wind howls outside and the ambiance of those same lights takes on new meaning ~ weighty, what-if, I-don't-know-how-to-do-this meaning ~ I'm not moving through the questions so seamlessly.

Fear cloys at my throat and my heart and my limbs as thoughts rapid-fire their worrisome threats. Will my boy be okay? He's going to be okay. Of course he's going to be okay. But what if he's really not okay?

My fifteen year old man of a child spent the day being poked and prodded and bled and tested. He has a funny little spot on his eye ~ a hemorrhage caused by who-knows-what. It's likely just a symptom of some sort of vascular infection. There was (or is) probably an infection in a valve in his heart that the body's breaking up and then pumping through his blood stream. Bits are getting stuck in some places and causing a little damage. No biggie. Treatable. Walk-away-from viral stuff.

It could be something different, though. And that's where the fear is sitting, watching, waiting. It's inviting me to follow it's lead in muddling through questions that cannot be answered tonight. Tonight there are no answers. Only a choice: faith. Or fear.

I know this: God is always good. He's sometimes fierce and deadly. He's sometimes tender and full of healing. Sometimes He gives. Sometimes He takes. He has always given much more to me than He's asked of me. I have known the merciful God.

I'm scared to death of the One who steps aside and allows life's vicious blows. I do not know that One well. I think I trust Him despite that lack of comprehension? I grow angry with Him. I charge Him with neglect, at times; I rage against His apparent withdrawal, at times. But I tend to lean toward believing that He knows something I don't know about the way this all plays out, and so I have faith in my unseen God.

Maternally, I am toying with coming undone. I so desperately want my six-foot-two, sarcastic, brown-haired, wise giant of a babe to be well and joyful and whole. He probably is. He might not be. Either way, I believe that the One who knew him even before he was formed holds him securely, surely, eternally. His ways are good and true and full of Life.

I'm not very brave, so that's where I'll settle in. Near to the Giver of Life whom, like air, or water, or shelter, I cannot live without.

Saturday, November 21

Unlikely Packages

Dyed-white, thick, straight hair obediently encases her heavily made-up face. She's hurriedly running a brush through it as I approach the sink between her and another woman in the restaurant loo. Fashion and appearance matter to her; everything about her look is deliberate. She's making a statement.

The other gal is struggling with the tap. Is it motion sensitive? Are you supposed actually turn something? Her worn grey and maroon winter coat is sagging over slack shoulders. Her mousy, unkept hair and cheap mud-brown plastic glasses frame an uncertain face. "I can't figure this thing out she mumbles."

"Just pull up," they dyed woman says. It is then that I realize they are acquainted. They laugh, "Just pull up! Pull up!" They're laughing and brushing and washing. The woman on my left sighs an after-giggle sigh, "Aaah. Just like Play Station."

"Yup," the now successfully scrubbed friend replies, "I guess that's why we make such a good team. We both know some stuff."

I yank my hoodie sleeve down over my hand to grip the suspiciously finger-printed handle of the bathroom door and make my way back out into the restaurant. I leave the exchange behind me. And I take it with me, too. Two women as unlike one another as could physically be. I would never have put them together as friends, thinking that the one would likely want nothing to do with the other. But there they were, sharing, nurturing, affirming, instructing.

We need each other, my friends. We are different ~ sometimes glaringly so. We think differently, believe differently, parent differently, treat money differently. We walk and dress and do our hair differently.

And we are the same. We need help with the bathroom tap every now and then, and sometimes beating a level on the latest game is un-doable without a buddy at our elbow. We need someone standing beside us as we stare into the bathroom mirror ~ someone who believes that we are lovely and acceptable and worthy.

If you don't have that friend, go make that friend. You may be surprised where you find her. She may not be packaged the way you'd expect and you may not be the one she thinks she's looking for either. Extend friendship until you find her. She's worth the search; she's worth the wait.

Monday, November 2

I's comin' back for ya'. Don't you never give up on me.
~ Chicken George, ROOTS ~

Don't ever give up on me. Raw need, longing, hope, fear.

What if we never gave up on each other? On our mate, our sibling, our friend? What if they never gave up on us?

Faithfulness without flinching.

Don't give up on the one who's hurting you; the one who's driving you nuts; the one who's wrong.

Just don't.