Hush, Little Baby

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     The man touched you, sure,

     But let’s just ignore.

What’s done is done,

Speaking won’t solve a thing.

You think you need to talk,

But we like the silencing.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t you dare speak.

     Standing up for injustices

     Will only make you weak.

If you become woke

Then what will we do

When we can’t rule the world

With the bottoms of our shoe.

     So hush little baby,

     Don’t you even breathe.

     Those people there in chains

     They don’t want to be freed.

They made their own choices

So just let them lie

In the state of their birth’s making

Until the day when they all die.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     If you choose to rock the boat then

     That’s the end of our world.

So give me your voice,

And I will teach you to deceive.

And show you how lying to yourself

Is your only way to have peace


     Oh little baby,

     Your Father hears your voice.

     I see how you’re curled up

     And don’t feel like there’s a choice.

But oh my sweet child,

I’ve heard your unspoken cries,

And I know what’s happened

In the darkest of these nights.

     Oh my sweet baby,

     Come to Me. You can cry.

     And I will hold your broken pieces,

     Until your tears are all dry.

It’s okay my sweet child,

I’ve seen all the evils done,

And that’s why I’m holding you

Because you need to be the one.

     To go into this battle,

     With your head held high,

     And search out all of those,

     Who have been told not to cry.

I need you to hold them,

Like I Am holding you.

Show them My Love,

And tell them I’m coming soon.

     Because this is not forever,

     This home is not for you,

     There is a place being prepared,

     Where everything is made anew.

All the evil and injustice,

Will never come inside.

But all the judgement will strike

Against those who silence  My  children’s  cries.

     So don’t hush little baby,

     Yes, It’s okay to cry,

     They can’t hurt you anymore,

     For I Am by your side.

Rise up, little child,

And stand on solid ground,

For I gave you to this world,

To turn it upside down.

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A Call to Reflection

because, per usual, the right words are failing me.

and the media is flooding.

and death is trending.

and a life that brought so much “life” to all who watched his performances on screen is being widely “mourned”- and every one has an opinion– every one has words to say. or more likely,  t y p e d.

black and white. stark. and all fail- because none can fully comprehend what Mr. Williams was dealing with, what his thoughts were, or where he finds himself now. none of us are him. and if any could talk to him, that would mean they’d be dead too, so the point there is mute.

but i just feel the loss of life. a life that shouldn’t be lost, lost.

and here we go- because i have a problem, y’all.

a problem with internet and social media and every other way of communicating news being flooded by one death. One.

One tragic death. one to mourn and feel sad for the unnecessary loss of.

But there’s been be-headings of children. raping and killing of women. hanging of men. and the all of that has not been covered to the extent that one man’s death has been covered in the last TWO days. 

and i? Oh i’m guilty. i’m guilty of grabbing my exhaustion and burrowing deep inside my own meanderings in order to not look at what is actually going on in the rest of this whole world- because the fact is, it is absolutely grotesque. we could watch a movie about it. when it’s people pretending to die. but the actual process- we can’t look at it- perhaps because we feel helpless to do anything about it.

i tell myself i can’t stomach it. i have too many hormones coursing through this mom-of-three body of mine that pictures of children’s heads on spikes in a park would just crumble me right where i sit and i would lose all ability to function. the anger and grief would overwhelm me entirely.

so i remain slightly less involved in what is happening in another country- because i can’t handle it.

what can we possibly to do make the situation any better?

is that why we can all (myself included) so publicly mourn the loss of a great comedian and not the loss of all the other lives lost these last few weeks? Because upon waking and finding a man gone, we can grieve- knowing there wasn’t anything we could have done? or is it that we don’t feel compelled to change anything about our lives because of his death? so we can grieve freely and unburdened?

we will still flood people’s blog posts on his death with hateful comments. or we will criticize someone’s twitter feed. we don’t think we need to temper one single thought we send flying out into the inter-web. we don’t have a care if that would add further burden to another’s depression or struggle. we, humanity as a whole, has fallen into a pattern of not having much of any integrity when “publishing” our thoughts for all to read.

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sometimes we don’t even care if we hurt, offend, or dare i say speak actual truth. a lot of the time we press “enter” with no accountability or second thought.

there is death. there is unjust death. there is uncalled for death. too young death. “so much life left to live,” death. murder. suicide.

when all that seems possible for an average person to do is sign petitions.

and pray.

the screaming of our guts-all-out -prayers that rip from the deepest depths of us when we allow ourselves to fully feel the enormity of the injustice and crimes against humanity being perpetrated today.

this week.

last week.

and the longing to do MORE.

yes, i feel that too.

so what if every human being alive today were to come to the realization that every other person is also HUMAN? That we are equals in that, if nothing else… which means that we, the all of us are  I M A G E.  B E A R E R S.  of.  GOD.

and, because of that, we have a responsibility.

to advocate for justice.

“Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

Over and over again, mishpat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor—those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.”

The mishpat, or justness, of a society, according to the Bible, is evaluated by how it treats these groups. Any neglect shown to the needs of the members of this quartet is not called merely a lack of mercy or charity but a violation of justice, of mishpat. God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to “do justice.”

Primary justice, or tzadeqah, is behavior that, if it was prevalent in the world, would render rectifying justice unnecessary, because everyone would be living in right relationship to everyone else.

When these two words, tzadeqah and mishpat, are tied together, as they are over three dozen times, the English expression that best conveys the meaning is “social justice.”

We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable

we are called to be reflections of Christ. not sit placidly on the sidelines witnessing the media.

and to view each life as equal.

so mourn death.

and advocate for justice.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God. – Micah 6:8

entry twenty eight

ice cold glass in frozen mug. and it sits and warms to the room, neglected.

the sky is gray and heavy. as though it knows. knows what there is today.

or more, who there isn’t.

I look after her longing, longing to go too, longing to go back and could I? Go with her and into the wonder?

How have I lost it in the growing older, duller? How to see the world again through those eyes? To live in the wide-eyed wonder of a world that unwraps itself grandiose and larger-than-life, so otherworldly?  (Voskamp, 165)

and here we are, shuffling strong out of the Christmas season, survivors of the torn asunder gift paper and the Everest-piled-foods. and we are looking to spring. and newness.

and Easter.

We move from one tree- fresh and fragrant and nestled deep amongst the gifts- to another, dead, and boarded, and nailed, and bearing single Gift. Gift for all mankind.

and the cradle of Christ points arrowed nail to the cross of grace.

and today, today there just doesn’t seem to be enough strength to say what all there is to say.

So these words – these speak deep.

The world moans loud, but He hears your howl. The world smiles thin, but He touches the depths of your deep grief. The world moves on, but His love moves you. He takes the nails to take your pain and He runs liquid with you.

Take your broken heart, your shattered heart, and give thanks for the heart of God who bleeds with yours and this is how your broken, dis-membered heart is re-membered –when you remember to count the ways He lovesCount, like you’re taking your own pulse, like you’re determined to keep breathing.

Remember the one thousand ways the Scarred God’s loves you, give thanks for Him in the midst of an almost hell, and your dis-membered heart re-members.

And our God is not a God to merely believe, but to experience, not to only believe in, but be held by. A God who not only breaks for you but breaks with you, a God to not only have creeds about, but to have communion with, a God who not only dies for you, but who cries with you, the God who touches you and binds you and blesses you and heals you and re-members you because He let Himself be dismembered and He is the God we not only believe in— but we knowWe know – know beyond a shadow of doubt, death or despair.

He has touched our tears. He has cupped our broken hearts with His scars. He has whispered to the howl, “I know, I know. And I’ve come to begin the making of all things new.” We believe. Because we know. He knows our grief. We know His goodness. And the truth is – we don’t need an explanation from God like we need an experience of God.

And that is exactly what we get.

We get that experience of God when He stretches open His arms on that Cross and cries,

For you. For all your regrets and for all your impossibles, for all that will never be and for all that once was, for all that you can’t make right and for all that you got wrong, for your Judas failures and your Peter denials and your Lazarus griefs, I offer to take the nails, the sharp edge of everything, and offer you myself because I want you, to take you, you in your wild grief, you in your anger and your disappointment and your wounds and your not-yet-there, you, just as you are, not some improved version of you, but you – I came for you, to hold you, to carry you, to save you.”

The thanks, the yes — it could come like sweet relief.

The broken hearts — they could re-member.

The lament — it could be absorbed in love.

so I will rest in experiencing my God today instead of trying to understand all of the questions that the harshnesses and tragedies of this world have pummeled my senses senseless with.

to remember a dear friend, a brother to my brother, and one who could love and laugh and live like none other.

Missing you.

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entry twenty two

Just watched this video.

And it brings the topic to my heart that catches in my throat and threatens to drain me of all physical and emotional strength. To watch that and not feel emotion… I don’t think it’s possible. Then to realize that this child’s life was birthed into this world when he was in his second trimester of life- still within his mother’s womb… and how children’s lives are ending so violently… at this same age and earlier.

by choice.

How we the church don’t seem to be doing enough to stand against this?

We are beginning to hear the call of the orphan and that of the poor. The widow. Those fatherless many. The street kids. Maybe it’s an easier call to answer because there is always someone to give money to who will then go forth and love on these who so desperately need it.

Maybe we don’t know where to step in.

So we may occasionally line an abortion center.

And shout out in masses for a few days.

 

Or stand in a prayer line.

But does anything really change in our day to day knowing that human. lives. are. ending. in the thousands. on a daily basis?

It’s where my heart strings knot. Blood pulses fast. Runs right ice cold. And muscles tremble.

As I feel as though I am not enough. The cries to God and the clawing desperate of the throat for this to just right this world upended and end this all. That I so desperately long for a switch to flip to just stop this mass genocide going on in our cities. in our country. on our continent. in our world.

Is the church failing? Why do pregnant women choose this?

Is it because we are “promised” a life that we can have and be whatever we want? The shows and books and magazines and articles that blind the soul as they proclaim a person can succeed– and we live our lives by the world’s definition of success? To have laid out before you everything you have been promised- but a life comes in and messes up the “perfect”, so it becomes a choice?

What if we revolutionized the definition of success? And we took the excess out of its entirety?

What if we let our children realize just how true it actually is that giving is so infinitely better than getting? To hold onto the blessedness that comes with dying of ourselves…

And why does it seem so contrary to cultural beliefs to realize that, when faced at a crossroads of a life you desire to live verses another life desiring to continue to live– how    b  l  e  s  s  e  d    that experience will be?

and how exceedingly full of pure refreshing joy to-serve-of-us truly is – if we could just show that to others – to teach that to our children and the generations being raised up…

If we could emphasize – because we actually believed – that the conception of a child is a wondrously glorious blessing- absolutely regardless of circumstance– That yes, there is more pain and more suffering if a person chooses to have such intimate relationship (to enter into sin) with one they are not in a covenant relationship with – and how a child’s life is never a sin.

If we taught our children to protect their purity of hearts and their love for others- if when a relationship involving premarital intimacy is discovered we would be saddened and upset by. the. action. of. intercourse. infinitely more than we are concerned if they are being “safe” – because what message is that sending to their child-minds? And what is the true take away there?

-I actually have yet to hear of a girl who gets pregnant in a Christian home where the parents don’t emphasize the fact that obviously the daughter wasn’t being “safe” enough because look what happened- which. is. not. the. sin. the baby is not the sin. But is that what is being taught in the church?

Why does the one innocent in this time receive all of the disdain?

If no woman ever felt shame for carrying a life within herself…

If the church – the city – the country – the continent – the world – could rise up as one and stand for our humanity.

Something so precious.

So sacred.

I have so many thoughts on this – and every paragraph can be formed into at least a chapter of a book – and maybe those pages need to be filled.

But can we start to teach our children differently? Can we see sin as sin – and a child’s life (no matter the circumstance of conception) as the exact opposite of that? Is it possible to separate the two when we talk to our children?

It’s time to stop living each day with a refusal to fully acknowledge what is going on in the here and now. You’ve read about genocides in your history books. This is so much bigger. And it’s right down the street. It’s within miles of the Church.

 

And it needs to be over.

It is time for every child to be given the gift of life. And for every mother to feel the blessing of her newborn’s skin nestled safe against her chest. As the child falls asleep to the sound of mommy’s beating heart.

A life is a life no matter how small- and if you believe God is the Creator of all- Who made us to be the salt of the earth- can we not be warriors for each child’s birth? 

 

*disclaimer note- in case it is not clear- I do believe that premarital sex is a sin. Having experienced it first hand I am a huge advocate of choosing to wait until being one with your spouse. But that being said, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. And if this is an area where you have sinned, are sinning, there is forgiveness at the cross. Just as there is for every sin committed by any person. My argument here is that when a person becomes pregnant as a result of premarital intercourse- the two acts are looked at as sinful, and there doesn’t seem to be a true and honest separation between the act of premarital sex – the sin- from the conception of life – not sin. 

entry nineteen

A small step towards healing a huge hurt… and it starts with this. And being able to listen to events take place at a school – and hearing a story that bears similar wounds as my own.

And being able to respond with these words.

And my heart.

And to those who have been here, or are here, or heaven forbid will find themselves here…

This, for the parent. This, to help you.

This, for you.

 

Your world has been turned on its axis. The ground has slipped away into a black hole beneath your feet and you aren’t sure if solid ground is ever really coming back. Every cog in your brain is turning at full speed to try to make sense out of something, to try to put reason into this situation, and to most likely attempt to justify by denial that this is actually happening.

And yeah, I’ve been there. And those worse case scenarios that your parent mind plays out, one of those may have come about in your own household, and every single fiber of your love-strong-sacrifice-ridden-bleeding heart is being torn into one. thousand. million. pieces.

And I try to imagine what that must be like. And you are trying to wrap your understanding around this, and trying to see how a man who earned your trust (and dare I say your love) so easily- effortlessly even- could be capable of doing harm to one of your own…. It is inconceivable.

Oh, dear friend, my heart aches- because, true as that may be, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

And so as you sit and read this, or listen to this, you may be trying to take the next step in this horrendous ordeal, and you may very well be asking yourself, “What do I say to my child? How do I talk to them? How do they talk to me?” And I get it. It’s uncomfortable. It may make your stomach knot, your hands shake, and your mind turn to blank slate status.

(And that’s why I’m sitting at my table amidst chaos of child crazy to write this to you.)

Because at this point you most likely know the statistics, and you are probably going through all the “would’ve,” “should’ve,” and “could haves” that go Speed Racer through your thoughts. As it becomes more real you’ll look for blame and you’ll feel white hot anger that seers your blood and scares your soul.

And what about your child?

And, like I’ve said, I’ve been there.

Not where you are.

But where they are…

And maybe you need this tonight…

 

Dear mom, dear dad, dear guardian,

I’m confused.

A surge of emotions is coursing through this hormonal crazed body of mine – and adding to all of the thoughts and doubts and uncertainties that this world is already hurtling at me faster than I can sort through and swallow.

Shame flushes my cheeks and quiets my voice, and trust is something so broken within me I can’t speak a word even if I could somehow make sense of it all.

So here I am looking to you.

And you may go meet with a counselor and urge me to do the same- because suddenly so much has started to make some sort of sense to you- and I’m glad you are taking this seriously.

and it means so much to this battered and bruised heart of mine that you care enough to pursue all out the best way to handle my brokenness.

but going to see a stranger scares me right to hollow depths, because I can’t trust a single new face right now.

But I trust you.

The embarrassment brings shame, and there are things this child-growing-into-adult body of mine should still be ignorant of. And now I wish it was. But I can’t tell you that– I see the fear written plain across your face, and I know you feel hurt by a man you welcomed into your heart (and possibly our home.)

I wish you knew, despite whatever words are in my mouth, that I don’t blame you.

I need you to know that I am scared right to my core that you blame me. – And that this weighs elephant-heavy on my chest and crushes me right through.

Can you tell me honestly that the fault here is not mine? Not in any part?

Can you just hold me close when words fail you?

Don’t act like nothing has happened and that this is something to sweep under the rug- because I need to know that when I’m ready, whenever that may be, that I can talk to you.

That you aren’t afraid to hear me.

That you want to talk to me.- yeah, that. I need to know that.

Will you listen to me when I don’t speak a sound?

Invest in time with me and give me the opportunity to come to you?

Will you let me know that however much you may have cared for him, you care for me infinitely and un-matchedly more?

I’m sorry I can’t say everything right now. There’s too much I can’t put into words, and the flush in my cheeks and the fire in my veins (those flames of hate), makes it so I can’t say everything I need to.

Not now.

But sometime…. Sometime I want to talk to you about all of this.

But I see you are hurting. And I know your confusion. And I am child born from your flesh and the whole of my being aches right raw to think of causing you pain by telling you all there is to tell.

I am the child you bounced on your knee.

You curled my hair. And read me stories. We sang songs and laughed and we have caused each other hurts.

But this?  This is hard to tell. For this will be deep sorrow that will stain profound.

This will cause you pain, and I can’t say sorry at the end of it. There’s nothing for me to apologize for. I’m not used to sharing a pain with you and for there to be no fix.

But maybe we could walk through this together?

And don’t allow me to be complacent and victimize myself, but help me to move past this time. And make sure you continue to move through this time as well.

But don’t forget that this is now a part of my story, and this will shape who I become. And don’t worry, it will be good.

And yes, I will need counseling. A lot of it. And you can help. My certificate of birth you were given by the nurse the day you labored hard and bore me into this world licenses you to do just that. You can help counsel my heart and mind and bring me to a place where I can trust.

But here’s the most important thing, and it will be so hard for you to do.

Abandon yourself at the Cross. And open yourself entirely to Him. He has a plan in all of this. Point me to Him, while kneeling right alongside of me…

And let us find Peace,

Receive Grace,

And Seek Joy

Together and for each other.

fifteen

It’s happened two times; two times since I became an adult, since I reached this age of independence and self-sufficiency… it has happened twice. When the phone rings and knocks the breath clean out of my lungs. And to breathe feels like drowning. And to communicate the shock is near impossible for the words are thick and weighted deep in the heart and the blood rushes faster than ever, but thought becomes sluggish and is never birthed forth into spoken word.

And it’s a feeling of helplessness.

Of out of my hands and out of my control.

And I cannot even be there to bear witness.

Or to comfort my own selfish heart.

To hold his hands or to see him hold is second grandson for the first time… because that hasn’t happened yet. My son is one month old, and has never been held by his grandfather. And that makes the tears pile behind closed lids. The water gathers and I swallow it back. Because crying won’t help anything. It’ll just wake the reflux filled infant sleeping in a basket at my feet. And tears don’t cure cancer.

I wish they did though. Because I can do that. I can cry.

I can pray. But I think I can cry better. And I can be desperate and sleep deprived and unable to put thought into words.

But oh, I could cry. And if tears could heal we’d all be well.

Now I crave to know every medical term in the books, and even the ones that haven’t made it to text yet. To fully understand and comprehend just how bad everything is. Because the internet makes everything appear death, and the doctors make everything appear controllable, and I won’t know the difference. I wish I could understand. but I don’t. I just don’t. My mind is fuzzy and my words empty. (And only partly because I am a mother of three children three years of age and under.)

The other part, the main part, is that in the midst of crisis I process slow.

Looking back to the first time I had gotten a phone call that shook me to the core- to when my little brother had been diagnosed with two brain aneurysms- one as large as a golfball– and I was in this same city, hours away from my family. I wish I had been there more but honestly I feel like my time in that hospital was a blur of pointless – I let things  happen around me and didn’t even try to understand. It’s what helpless looks like. But at least I could be there.

Seated. hands open. desperate to grab hold of anything and everything, unable to touch a single thing. and the rush of the ones in the coats with the knowledge who God has placed in the situation are so busy acting that they cannot fully explain to my confused and chaotic brain.

And here I sit again. Helpless. As my father walks into the unknown with the rest of my family beside him- I sit in this other city. Aware of what is happening by what I receive over a telephone.

And here it is. It’s come. The hard eucharisteo. And do I thank Him? And can I name it? And how does anyone find the joy in the times such as these?

My elocution is lacking. My words are far from beautiful.

So here it is. Written down in black and white. And I am in the midst of walking through it. And God is in the midst of it all.

Eucharisteo.