my son is sucking on his bear even as he sleeps.
he’s only 18 months old and his cheeks are red as apples and i didn’t know being a mother would be this hard. elizabeth stone says that having a child is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body, but it’s more than that: it’s like watching your heart tiptoe near the edge of jagged cliffs, all day long, and you only have two arms and two legs and no matter how hard you try —
you can’t get there fast enough. you can’t save them.
and maybe you can keep them safe for awhile, but you can’t save them from hell, ever. you can’t save anyone from hell, ever. you can only pray that the grace of God finds them.
and there’s all kinds of grace--50 shades of grace, you could say–and never has this been more clear than in the movie, Reservation Road. have you guys seen this movie? spoiler alert: it sucks. big time.
oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s very well done. and a stirring storyline, and you’ll stay glued to the edge of your seats and you’ll fall in love with the characters.
but it sucks.
because a little boy gets killed in the beginning. and that’s when you fall apart, watching that car hit him and then.keep.driving.
the guy doesn’t stop. and the little boy’s father, oh, how he breaks, slowly, the way guys often do, the way they often consume grief like they do a steak–slowly, savoring the taste, whereas women, we tend to consume quickly. we’re fast and emotional and then we’re back in business, because there are things that need to get done.
and you watch the stories of these two men: of the man who lost his boy to the hit and run, and of the man who committed the hit and run. and you see their lives intersect, and you see how horribly both have been tormented–one by loss, one by guilt–and when they finally confront each other, and witness the sorrow in each other’s face, it’s almost, grace.
but grace sure hurts like hell.
sometimes God gives me pictures in my head of what he’s like. visions, so to speak. and i often get them when i’m running. the other day, i asked him to show me more of him. and i saw him, all three of him (Jesus, Abba, and the Holy Spirit) sitting in their thrones, but then all of a sudden, the thrones crumbled away.
and as they were crumbling, i looked behind them and saw the smoke of Hades, rising. and then i turned, and i saw God the father’s back was scorched from the heat of the flames. he was sitting so close to hell that he could feel the heat. and he was hurting because of it.
and when i looked at his face, he was crying, and he said,
“you never stop caring about your children.”
God is justice. God is love. he lets his children be punished, but he also enters into the punishment with them. feeling their pain, and mourning their loss. forever.
and i’ve told my husband, no matter where my children go, like Ruth, i will go with them. (not in a creepy kind of way, of course…) if they ever end up on the streets somehow, and refuse to come home, i will camp out beside them. because my life is entwined in my children’s. they are my heart. walking around outside my body.
and we are God’s heart, walking around outside of his.
and when we get hurt, oh, how it hurts him.
it hurts like hell.
[Photo: 60dn, Creative Commons]