|thought is the wine of the soul|
September, bringing fall and another anniversary of life, shocked me with its complexity. I have wrestled, for some time, with the idea of how the ransoming of our souls by Jesus Christ interplays with our every day. Its as if I was being bolstered to face the knocks of this month.
September found me crying before the Lord, “Where is Your redemption? How will You deliver us?” This Israelite-echo filled my mind.
They call them the Children of 9/11, bringing to mind Rushdie’s Midnight Children. The babies, in womb, when their fathers were killed in 2001. These children are nine, turning ten in a few short months. Their lives are drastically different than other nine year old lives. They do run with total abandon through school playgrounds. They do make mudpies, play soccer, or build blanket forts in quite the same way. They cannot revel in their childhood. At least not without the press looking on. These children are toted before newspapers and magazines. These are asked “how do you feel…” about things a nine year old should not face for another ten years-- at least. At the magazine stand, I see their eyes stare through glossy covers and penetrate me. Lives torn apart. No one to coach soccer practice. No one to throw the ball with. No daddy to join the tea party. Children, made adults before first earth-breath. Father, can this be Your will?
Tree-climber, book-lover, peaceful-dreamer, and friend. She stares hurt head-on today. Deep, uncomfortable hurt. She faces something I have not- the death of a family member. She explains to her eleven month old, “Grandma is in heaven.” She holds her sister-in-law, bursting with child, and cries her soul out dry. She turns to her husband, aching for words to support, struggling in the grieving. She mourns the loss of a mother by marriage. She mourns the loss of her son’s grandmother- for no one loves, spoils and dotes quite like a grandmother does. The children, in womb and in hand, do not know. But she knows. Can there be good in this too, Lord?
“You just watch these babies grow and then fade. You don't know if you're supposed to name them, or bury them, or...” 1 Each month, the hope grows. Each month, the tears fall, heavy and breaking and devastating. Names are uttered, rooms are envisioned. “But every time we pseudo-name, it all comes crashing down.” What can you say to the empty womb, refusing to fill? Namer of all, will you breath life?
September found me crying in joy. Sons, born seven thousand miles away, found their way home. Home to a father and a mother. Home to another brother. Home to love. And I cry, because although the womb is empty and dreams freeze cold, You breathe life. There is a family that transcends circumstance. There is a Life that defeats death. There is a Hope. For all of us. HOPE.
I ask that you, reader, join me on this search. Ponder these words. Take them with you into the fresh air and the closed offices of your lives. Hold them on your tongues. Roll them through your thoughts until they reach your soul. Ask questions with me to figure out how our lives are to reflect, honor, and represent Him. Join me in this struggle with Love's redemption.
Find a way to respond. When things strike a nerve, ask why. Comment here or email me. Or, talk with friends as you wrestle through. But do not let the truth float by ungrappled.
1-(from the movie Away We Go by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida)