The Opposite of Love.

I don’t know what it means to be a writer. A blogger. I guess a writ-ger.

I don’t know what it means to be a mother most days.

I am not even sure, after five short but full of life, years of marriage what it means to be a wife.

And I am totally not sure what it means to be a peaceful, always faithful, spiritual follower of God – turning to my confident prayer at all twists and turns and moments of glory.

I just don’t. That is partly why I haven’t been showing up to this space. Although I know part of my creation includes putting twisted thoughts into even more twisted words so I can understand the divine swirling around me, and in turn, hopefully help others, I just haven’t been able to do it.

The events of Friday December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut have shaken all of us. So much that I didn’t want to write about it because I felt like there are no words. Let me say that again, – I STILL feel like there are no words. So this post is not really a response to what has happened – you, as the reader, and I, as the writer, don’t need a blog post to digest something like this. We feel this one with our guts. We know when we hold those sweet babies close to our chest and brush their hair all we want to do is keep them inside, willing them not only to the safe walls of our home, but to the safe walls of the world. We know when those innocent school pictures flash up on Facebook it is disgusting to even go there in your mind. Wrong. It feels like the world has lost a piece of what makes it worthwhile and good. The mission trips of 2012, the births, the marriages, the diseases cured miraculously, all sit in the shadows, discounted like they aren’t real enough to wash away all the black.

Here is where my response comes. How do we define ourselves and keep on keeping on, even if everything feels un-defined…and scary and shaken and full of doubt?

This is all I know:

I know that when it’s time to write, I write.

I know that holding my puking child against my chest all night is being a mother. I know cheering on every piece of their being, even when it feels like a chaotic circus around me, is being a mother. I know celebrating the dance of kicks and pure life inside, instead of worrying about the delivery or if she/he has two heads, is being a mother.

I know saying those simple words like “I’m sorry” and “I love you” means being a wife.

And with the help of an author that has helped me many times, I sort of know what it means to pray. I have wrestled with this one over and over and over again…ESPECIALLY after this month’s tragedy. I felt like my prayers just weren’t enough to help. Or enough to even mean anything.

I read this last night and just had to share. It felt like a God moment as I read the words. The twisted thoughts and words spoke to my mother/wife heart … and suddenly all the confusion and doubt in my heart and the surrounding world didn’t seem so confusing. Or dark.

From Philip Yancey’s “Prayer”:

I am privileged to be associated with a group in England called St. Colomba’s Fellowship. Its members consist of hospice staff, nurses and other workers who work among the dying. My wife and I are sometimes invited to speak at the fellowship’s conference. 

At one of the conferences, we heard a hospice chaplain tell of a patient who asked to see him because he was in great emotional distress. He was in the last stages of cancer and was feeling very guilty because he had spent the previous night ranting, raving and swearing at God. The following morning he felt dreadful. He imagined that his chance of eternal life had now been lost forever, and that God would never forgive one who had so cursed and abused him. 

The chaplain asked the patient, “What do you think is the opposite of love?” 

The man replied “Hate.”

Very wisely, the chaplain replied, “No, the opposite of love is indifference. You have not been indifferent to God, or you would never have spent the night talking to him, honestly telling him what was in your heart and mind. Do you know the Christian word that describes what you have been doing? 

The word is ‘prayer.’ You have spent the night praying.” – Roy Lawrence

On this magical Christmas Eve, as we practice love and light and all that is shiny…don’t worry if it feels like there is less than love, light and shine in your heart. You are a mother. You are a wife. You are praying. Just by doing it. Just by jumping out of the ring of indifference. You are love.

Merry Christmas to you. May our real and non-indifferent prayers be with every person touched by the hate crime of December 14th, 2012. Many bells will ring this Christmas as the little angels get their wings.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m from CT, really close to where this horror happened. Thank you for writing this. You got it right on the money, and delivered it in a way that can bring people comfort. It helps immensely when we know we are not alone in our feelings of confusion and just not having the words, nor the ability to wrap our minds around this. Thank you. This helped me start the day out being able to breathe :)

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