awry

We’re all always wailing about the state of the world. We in our community and they in theirs. The general conclusion, it seems, from our community, is that theirs is the problem. No doubt their community reaches similar conclusions about ours.

On the radio, two educated, articulate women discussed the right of women to choose whether and when and how often they will be mothers. Celebrated the decision to have two children, but not to carry and deliver the third, because three children would have been too many to raise well. Celebrated the decision to have no children. Celebrated the fact that they can choose. For a moment I drew back, aghast.

Are you also drawing back, aghast?  Friend, look around you.  You live, I live, in a grace-drenched world. It lies so thick over all our doings that we’ve gotten to where, maybe, we don’t even notice: Christ filling all our gaping inadequacies with His Self, throwing a robe over our rags.

The women spoke of the rigors of motherhood. The expectation and necessity of that entire giving away of yourself, the expectations that a mother will have all the answers, survive on too little sleep, love her child more than herself unconditionally and all the time. They spoke of how difficult that is, how women shouldn’t be forced into that by narrow-minded legislations.

It’s just grace that I saw it then: saw that all they said about the difficulty was right. Except that they see it as only difficult. I know it is impossible — though I am not, only want to be, a mother — they can’t, I can’t, you can’t give self away to that degree. We don’t have the answers. We don’t survive well on too little sleep or love anyone more than ourselves unconditionally and all the time. We’re broken and we can’t fix ourselves.

When I say I disagree with their solution, I don’t say that they are the problem. They suffer under it, as we suffer under it. The world will not be fixed when we legislate the end of all atrocities. It will be fixed when it knows Jesus.

He gave Himself away entirely. He is the Way, Truth, Life. He suffered in every way as we have suffered, yet without sin. His love is unconditional, everlasting, bestowed on wretched ones who couldn’t manage, for the smallest moment, to be loveable. And He pours out His grace. So that we do the things we cannot do, and we give more love than is in us to give, and we lay down our lives when it is inconvenient and we wouldn’t have chosen it. Because He is strong in our weakness, wise in our foolishness, covering our cannots with grace.

We are entrusted with this treasure, Christ, Whose work reverses the curse, and instead of sharing Him with those whose darkness attests to desperate need of Him, we stand and wail that the world is awry. Friends, does that make sense?

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