When I gave birth the third time,
Everyone told me what a perfect birth it was.
They marveled at how calm and “unafraid” I was,
How I “roared” my baby earthside.
I’ve ached in that lie for a while now,
Lost in their awe and my own despair.
What they didn’t know is that
While they were calling me calm and unafraid,
I was facing the endless exile of humanity
With trepidation, anger, and despair.
While they were resting and calm,
My head bowed over the water’s edge
And realized nothing will save me.
This is an effect of original sin.
My husband leaves every morning for hours,
Like so many other husbands.
He’s far away, but not as far as many others;
I’m not blind to my own privilege.
He feels so far away to me though,
A piece of my heart leaves with him,
And the hole aches inside of me.
But, “the man shall work…
and the woman will long for her man.”
They tell me, “it could be so much worse,”
My own voices, and others sometimes,
And I know they are right.
I am lucky to be alive, lucky for my family,
But they are missing the point.
It’s not about my pain being so horrible,
It’s about pain being horrible.
It’s not that my struggles are the worst,
It’s that they are the least.
It’s not a little pain,
It’s the largest pain there is.
It’s the anger, it’s the fear, it’s the hope,
In the face of a God who will not relent.
Or sometimes won’t. It depends….
On His mood? On my merit?
If God shall number our sins,
“Lord, who can stand,”
But if God does not hear our merits,
Lord, who can stand that either.
Eve may have fallen, and so have we,
But we have also begged you to return.
We have made you king.
We have fallen again and gotten lost
In this terrifying world you have created,
But we have come back to you and we have begged you to return,
No more to go away.
But you won’t hear us, Lord.
Please forgive me, my anger Lord,
My heart breaks over nothing, I know.
My heart breaks for the whole world,
I cry for days over a 6 month old boy I never met,
I break in half over a family who loses their father and almost their mother.
I shatter over shootings, over bombs, over countries, over worlds,
That cry out like violent small humans for your help.
Oh God see us in our weakness and have mercy on us.
We are so desperate for your love we are destroying each other,
God, we want you in your fullness,
We just don’t know it yet,
Have mercy on our misguided attempts to find you.
Reveal yourself, and hold us until we stop crying,
Like a mother with a flailing infant,
Hold us in our fear, despair, rage,
While I kick my legs against you and scream,
Hold me and receive my tears,
Understand that I am lost in your exile,
And I just want You to come home.