The full human experience.


The first time I saw myself as weak was in his eyes. I saw my reflection, distorted, in the green-eyes of the red-haired boy. He told me those with faith, which I minutes before had professed, were those who didnt have the grit to face the truth of the meaninglessness of our existence. It's science and chemical reactions.

I fought him hard with my words and feigned uninterest, not for sake of knowing he was wrong, but fearing he might be right.

the second time I found myself weak, well-the second that I can recall with ease- was in a bathroom tiled to the ceiling. Easy to clean and hard to break. Very much unlike my circumstances in that moment. A tiny safe place, for a woman who both messy and broken, had only uncovered more brokeness in her and her husband than she could bear.  A prognosis certain: beyond earthly repair.

oh, but wait, there was the time before, when the ultrasound fell lifeless, when the tech refused to make eye contact. That moment forever presenting. defining.

and another, now the moments come with ease. I remember. When my self control failed me-too many moments to recount, when I felt exposed over money poorly spent, poor calculations in choices, precious time wasted.

he was right, that green eyed boy about one thing.

I am weak.

but he was wrong about that other bit, and I'm not so afraid anymore.

He saw me. The God-man I put my faith in. When a traveling saint of the same faith prayed over pre-teen me and looked her square in the eye and laughed a jolly laugh. I felt akward and struggled to make eye contact. He pray-talked to me "my goodness Jesus, she is meticulous isn't she! you like things just so, dont you?" and with a tenderness "God made you just like this. "

He held me, the one who formed the science and the chemicals, as he mended our broken hearts and showed me that He, and only he, can replace what is lost, what was given away unfairly.

He spoke to me, with my real ears hearing. I thought at first it was just the intercom, my brain synapsis firing so fast I looked around bewildered when I was wheeled back to the inevitable news that death had been found in this shell of mine.

I've held my head in my hands in a car at night, weeping at a doctors warnings. Of white blood count and us 'seeing how the next 24 hours go." Driving home, and throwing up with the deep fear of loss.

I've held my own girls hand as she tries to understand why a new friend would tell her "no one cares about you." A lie I've spent the better end of a few years unmantling.

I've seen enough to know that if our existence is void of meaning, then I certainly dont have the grit for it. Green eyed boy, you are right.

But I've seen Him,

Heal a man. a real life one. I saw the mans tears at the surprise of it. I watched to see if it was a fluke weeks later.

I felt Him, prompt my heart to ask a question I wouldn't ask,  no never. that brought out ugliness I didn't want to see and in its stead healing I couldn't make for myself.

I heard him, give me permission to fail boldly, reminding me that death is of little consequence to the one who has already overcome what was once thought to be the final say. Reminding me that he even now still dances over what he's made.

Today I saw a little boy, who I get to raise, lift his hands up in joy and run full speed through grass. The leaves rained down as wind blew. He started to shoot his arms out like spiderman and swing his little legs out wonky and I cried and laughed at the pure perfection of it.  and my arms, the ones I once held around my own empty self were full of two more people I am too weak to mother well.

Not too long ago I sat across from a treasured friend talk about how she chases one high of sorts after the next, trying to heighten the dullness of this existence. After the kids go to bed, it seems necessary, and I understood.

I too have sat within the uncomfortable bounds of this time and space and ached for the eternity I have been created for. I too have felt the weight of my own broken self, like a heavy blanket over my soul, growing desperate to escape it.

my husband and I joke when it gets too much. When the news is too heavy. When we don't know how it's all going to shake out. We say in dark humour "well hey! atleast we're getting the full human experience!"

It's a phrase reserved for when we're especially weak.

he was right, that green-eyed boy about one thing.

we are weak.

but God be praised.

he was wrong about the other bit.

and because of this, through His grace, I've got the grit for these days.

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