Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ann Voskamp writes of touch that brings you alive, and I look at this painting and know that it does. I am not the mother that plays well; I don't make easy conversation with my words. I have heard that time flies and our babies grow up too fast, yet I bear no regrets, not that she grows, not that she becomes more alive in every interaction, not even that I will say goodbye one day. She is her and I am me. I am her mother, the path God chose for her to breath. Her story is His, as mine is His.
He gives others the strong ones, the ones like them, the ones who challenge them most, the sweet ones; I was given the one who needed love, who really demands nothing more than intense, lay-your-life-down-for-me love. Every day she touches desire in me, desire for her, desire to love without measure.
I never quite escape this desire that drew shy lullabies from me as I rocked her to sleep, though I would hide it away if I could. For love does not guarantee happily-ever-after every time - at least not as I think of it. But I am less for not-loving, for not-touching, for not-desiring those lives He gives to me.
So my heart is daily opened to new depths of desire, and I touch with wonder the life He gives, and I hope never to forget the tender that I learned from my Father's heart. Sometimes I measure my love, my life out, then remember that He poured His without measure on the dust beneath a Roman Cross, and how can I do less or be less or trust less in His very goodness that raised His only Son to Life that conquered death for us all?
I feel life moving within my womb, hear life making happy messes in my clean house, sense Life in my soul that has not been there before. I know I am being quickened, deepened, seen, touched, changed.
A wry laugh bubbles upward as my short time to dwell here becomes a moment to fetch and understand and reach and love, and I wonder at how God made me in His image, that I may be one second in eternity and the next caught in time that my daughter can't yet transcend. Somehow, strangely, the one leads to the other, and back again as I become one with Him. I yield to love, and wonder how He touches through me, wonder if He touches at all as she runs from my "no" in utter frustration.
My sigh is tired; I need rest again. I pick my way through her toys, across scattered pillows and leftover balloons to sink weary into our soft couch, thinking of last night's dream-wasted sleep. She will come when I lay down, and I will hold her and tell her to be careful of Mama and the baby, and she will touch my belly button and ask about Christmas and kiss the baby in my tummy. I will pull her close and tell her I love her and rue my sighs and wish away the knowledge that she'll be upset again before the day is out.
And when she leaves her place over my heart, I'll be disappointed.
(Image Credit: Behold by Jean Monti)