five minute friday (on saturday): mom

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He’s crawling now — all over the floor and under the furniture, examining the minute crumbs, the carpet fibers, and whatever else he can find. I pursue him with voice and hands: don’t touch the power cords, don’t crinkle the book pages: no, and no again.

And he crawls to me, pulls himself up into my lap, lays his head on my chest, my knee. I couldn’t have anticipated this: how now that he’s free to go where wants, he comes to me. How I love him.

In the car last night we played an old mix cd I threw together for a road trip a few years back, when I had no suspicion of husband and baby coming so soon, when my heart grieved and yearned, and I needed those hours alone on the highway to gain perspective and hope.

And now, such joy.

But the hope of then was not in the potential for motherhood, however sweet. Nor could this now be so sweet if it were the center of my hopes. Paul says that “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19). The hope Paul means? Resurrection. The dead are raised. Christ is raised. We shall be raised.

All the griefs and yearnings — some of which will never be answered in this life — find their answer in that resurrection. And that resurrection makes sense only in light of the grief of now.

Because even this joy, motherhood, comes tinged with the grief of love, the yearning of it. And as much now as then, I need a surer hope.

Mine, in Christ.

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Linking up with Kate Motaung for her Five Minute Friday free-write on the prompt mom. The “mom” button above leads to her site.

©2017 by Stacy Crouch

a longer Lover

Mornings when the alarm wakes you from a dream of grief so poignant that you shrink from the waking world, bent over your pillow for a moment: Father, I can’t. Father, help me.

Honeysuckle grows thick in the fence-rows and the trees — I’ve only begun to notice it, and already it yellows. You smell it before you see it; a welcome change from the aroma of Bartlett Pear blossoms a month ago.

P1040248 - Version 2It’s the end today: a semester finished, and students going out exulting in The Beginning of Summer. I wish them well, but am sad at their going, no longer mine.

Bird-parents with bird-children as large as themselves populate the out-of-doors, life for them a frantic rush to fill the demanding mouths, push the babies into the world. In this eager fulfillment of their own creation mandate — “let birds multiply on the earth” — perhaps there will even be a second hatching of birds before the fall.

From the library, I checked out a book of poetry for myself, because sometimes poetry is the thing. And today it was, with Luci Shaw’s “Highway Song for Valentine’s Day,” though it isn’t Valentine’s Day:

        I’m listening for a longer Lover,
        whose declaration lasts forever:

        from field and flower, in wind and breath,
        in straw and star, by birth and death,

        his urgent language of desire
        flickers in dew and frost and fire.

It takes attention, to hear it: all creation screaming the glory of this love, and me so often blinded by my wantings. (I read in Numbers of Israelites who were buried at Kibroth-hattaavah, which means “graves of craving,” and I do not want to be buried there, too.)

But sometimes a day can turn within five minutes of sitting on a bench under a tree, grief giving way to gladness under the pressure of a day in which goodness and mercy have followed me and gone ahead of me.

He makes beautiful.

 

©2014 by Stacy Nott