Thursday, November 7, 2013

aware of wealth

{A flashback from early September, starting our second three-week wait for visas…}

September 1, 2013 

We are, all five of us, sleeping in one room for a cluster of nights as we embark on our third trip this summer, waiting for visas again…

Never have I felt so vulnerable, never has my foothold in this cleft of rock, this tiny corner of the globe, seemed so tenuous.  I feel powerless to provide my children with what I long to give them, what I know they need: a home.  Stability.  Routine.  Consistency.

And yet, as the darkness deepens here in this funny oblong triple room in a guesthouse in a strange city in the middle of Central Asia, I am aware of wealth.

I pick up my baby from the bottom of her cot, her limbs splayed out, heavy with sleep.  While she nurses, I perch on the side of my bed, listen to four other pairs of lungs besides my own, breathing in, breathing out.  One boy sighs in his sleep.  Another rustles his covers, stirring in slumber.  

I give her the other side, and then, since she’s too soundly asleep to suck, I gently lay her back down.  I pull over her chubby bare legs the summer blanket of pink gingham edged in eyelet my mother made for me when I was a baby, lovingly stored away away against the day when her baby girl would have a baby girl of her own.  

I step across the room to my oldest son, pull up his sheet, smooth his forehead, ministrations a thousand thousands of mothers have performed before me, and will perform long after my mothering days are done.  

I stoop to kiss my second son, the one we all love so much it hurts, the one who hurts us with the violence of his passions, his loves, his hates, his frustrations.  The boy whose blue eyes fairly popped with joy, two inches from my face, as he shouted earlier in the garden, “Did YOU see THAT, Mom?  Didja see what I can do??” as he cavorted and gamboled gleefully with his brother.  

The boy who, tonight as Daddy was tucking him in, moaned in a voice dripping with mournfulness, “But Da-ad, if I close my eyes, I can’t see anything!”  

The boy who exhausts us with his exuberance, levels us by loving us, shouts and sulks his way through each three-year-old day with such reckless abandon as to make me cringe at the thought of him at 13… and 23… and… 

I tuck the covers in around this boy, kiss his babyish three-year-old cheek, listen to him sucking on his thumb, feel my heart swell with maternal pride.  

These four human beings, the ones I birthed and the one who sired them, we are bone of bone, flesh of flesh.  Our soft collective breathing fills this space, and I suddenly revel in this one set of four walls containing the whole of us.  Our family.  That there would be such a thing in the world as the miracle of a family, that I would have one of my own, created out of two become one, birthed from my womb, entrusted to me to nurture...  

Wealth.  Untold.

And I realize the answer to my unspoken, wordless question, my longing to provide them with security, stability: here, within these four walls, is God’s plan for doing just that.  He planned for each human being to be placed in a family, with a certain, special set of human beings to belong to, to own, to love.  

I sit quietly in the dark, feeling complete.  Knowing I am home, in this hotel room, as home as I’ll ever be on this planet.

Home isn’t a place: it’s being part of a family.  

And my heart suddenly wells up with a desperate ache, for all the broken ones, the lost ones, the separated ones, sleeping lonely, crying… Alone in the dark.  

Lying flat on my bed now, under the covers, silent tears trickle into my ears and drip onto the pillow as I pray, with all the love in my heart, that God would draw near to each lonely one, touch each broken heart, adopt each orphan, take the hand of anyone who’s lost, and lead them…


If you're lost and lonely today, longing for family and home, 
cry out to the God who is Father….

"For He is good;
His steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations."
(Ps. 100:5)

And leave a comment or send me an email - I would love to pray for you!

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