Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I wish I had something profound to write. Something about the miracle of Christmas and time and hope. But I can’t quite seem to conjour those words up to the muddy surface of my mind. Maybe in another week it will seem clearer. I catch a glimpse of the holiday light here and there in my swirling thoughts, but nothing I can latch on to yet. I have had my feet washed this weekend, though, and for that I am thankful. I mean I have been listened to and hugged and helped and my babies have been covered over with love by a very special visitor whose family sacrificed a lot to bring the water of herself to our raw and fragile lives. And some others joined her, too.
We did put up a Christmas tree, and the word HoPe sits on my mantle all red and sparkly, drawing the eye and luring the heart. Makiah’s green eyes laugh at us through a half dozen picture frames and old ornaments scattered about. She would want the babies to have a pretty first Christmas. She loves sparkly things and happy music. Some moments I catch Christmas carols escaping from lips… my lips… almost drawn up in a cautious smile. Other moments I press the lids hard and disappear deep into a memory of Christmases past. Of early morning cuddles on the couch while she watches cartoons under the twinkling, colorful lights on the tree. Of a little blonde one playing mommy and baby with the tiny Christmas bears that have decorated our spruce for a generation or so. Of her delighted yelps when she opens another mermaid doll that special morning. Of sitting together and sampling a variety box of two dozen little chocolates… exchanging mmm’s for good ones and blah’s for the yucky ones… teeth marks in each, not carrying if we bite them all!
My fingers gingerly trace the reindeer ornament she made. Her tiny hands as the antlers. Oh to put those hands in mine! To see her giggle and play with her sisters! To buy that girls size 6 Christmas dress at Belks instead of wistfully feeling soft ribbons and then leaving it there to hang. To hang. It’s hard not to feel we have been left here to hang. To hang on the memories and a thin strand of hope. But then I think of the washing. The bringing of life-water this weekend to pour over our messy lives. Many others have emptied out selves for us as well. I stand thankful. I will never forget my dear friend literally washing the blood from my feet as I sat stunned and sobbing in the ER room last fall. She didn’t want me to go home with the blood- it was not mine- screaming from my toes.
And so in my muddy swirl of emotions, I cannot deny the God-Man who first washed me of my grime. He keeps sending himself in the life-water of others poured out for us. In the moments I feel that God has abandoned us, I remember. And I push against those lonely thoughts because the muddy water around my clean feet reminds me that it is not so. I have not been left to hang forever because he did hang for me instead. I grab on to the truth. I must. For God so loved me, He gave his only son…