“Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try to get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18
We live in a broken world. Nature itself is telling us of the brokenness. It still holds beauty but doesn’t feel the same. Things break it. Same with people. People are broken by other people, quite or most often by those who once were supposed to love them. Love is often broken by people’s interpretation of it and lack of understanding of what makes it up. Love in its true form gives. People use it to take. Love should give. People use it to take. That is imperitive to understand. I am a student of love. It lives in me and I study the purest form of love I know as a template, God. And as I learn of Him, I learn of love and see all the more the distortion of it in our world, causing or contributing to the eclectic brokenness of it all. We do not understand what we do to each other when we let love be a tool instead of a purpose or goal. Broken people walk around trying to mend themselves with scotch tape when they need surgery. They need God to heal their brokenness, and He is the only one who can. I am broken and in need of mending regularly, sometimes a few stitches, other times major brain surgery or a heart transplant. Only the Great Physician, God can do this to any effect. Only He can recreate what He first created. Only He can heal our broken country. Only love can. And love does not hold account of wrongs done against it. It picks up and serves and mends and heals and peace is its trademark. It is the most powerful force in the universe because God is Love. Pure, unblemished, truth. Love does not say I will hold you when you act or love or believe or think a certain way. Love says I will hold you. Love does not lightly pledge its allegiance but only present itself when commitment is certain. Love is not a passing passion or lust that comes on slowly but passes quickly and fades away or loses interest when a new person to lust after comes along. That is not what love is. Love is complete acceptance and dedication and peace on rainy days too, in the middle of crazy, in calm, in ugly, in beautiful, always and forever. What on this planet is more beautiful than that? More worthy of our effort? More true to combat a miriad of lies around us? More valuable? Not one thing. So, we who are broken have brokenness in common. There is one commonality that usually does not bind. But it can when love steps in. Love heals the broken and unites the mutually healed together. And there is distinctive and unequivical and incandescent beauty in that. And that, my friends, is hope.
Nothing in this world has given me greater joy and sheer madness, respectively, as being a Mother. Neither child has called me that. I have been “Mommy”, “Mom” and “Momma”. And for only having two living children, believe me I have been called these a lot. I think they call out “Mom” in place of breathing sometimes. And the madness, I could talk about the madness, the exhileration of two years of sleeplessness and children deciding no more naptime since they were 2 and a half. Really? Yes. And days of not having a vocal conversation with a read adult other than myself. And social craziness, I will not even go there this time. And there are the everything taking about twenty times as long because of the amount of luggage needed for the rascals to do anything at all. Five minute trip to the store is 20 minutes. Being the pack mule for the entire nation when hiking or going for walks or to the park. Their joy at going somewhere you dropped your world to take them and then guilt of feeling like a meany butt when told they have to actually return home that day after their huge fun. And can I please use the bathroom alone? Is that too much to ask? Can I breathe a breath of my own in a day? That and more is the crazy of my Momminess. That is the price you pay for the next part. The joy. The absolute pure joy of waking up and seeing the little people your children are becoming and are born to be and just thanking God for the opportunity to have so much time with these amazing little people God made. God made them inside my tummy, using building blocks of my and their dad’s DNA and adding such amazing little gifts and qualities all their own to make them just pleasurable to behold. It is a joyful honor to be their Momma. And I know the crazy only lasts, well, forever, but the joy does too. And everything in life has to be a balance for it to work right. And I will gladly take crazy to have joy and pride in playing a role in bringing up the absolutely most amazing little future parents/workers/spouses/lovers/helpers/God worshippers. It is incredible to think about. These people I am helping to develop into the best they can be and the love I have for them is powerful, powerful enough to create energy when there is none left, to instill hope when I am stifled, to pour love from me when I thought I had given the last of it, to freshen the soul when it had been weighed down. What is more valuable than that?
Each day always contains moments of beauty as well as moments of badness. Every day has a little of both. What you focus on most determines whether you are considered an optimist or pesimist. However, extremes are not the focus here. I am about both. Sometimes you have to take one with the other. Today, being Father’s Day, I spent some time with my loved Daddy with Kathleen, my little daughter. She and I went to visit Daddy in the nursing home with our little gift and found he was in the activities room having a Father’s Day celebration with other residents. So we went down there with our little dresses on from church and found him in there with about 10 other guys and one warm hearted nurse’s aid trying to entertain them and serve them snacks and cheer them up. So, we arrived and jumped right in of course and Kathleen and I started serving the men their snacks and talking and singing and helped the best we could. But with dementia, you always wonder how much gets through because your efforts are met primarily with stares and vacant expressions. And there is my dad who still loves eating. She served chips and salsa and mini cakes. On the same plate, of course, because who wouldn’t really? lol. And I help open everyone’s salsa packets and come back to check on dad and he is dipping his chips in his salsa and eating and then dipping his cake into his salsa and eating it. And it hit me out of the blue like a whack with a plank to the forehead out of nowhere. Daddy is fading fast. So the pleasure we had in serving and entertaining him was momentarily derailed. Kathleen and I finished our visit and I dropped her off at home before I left to pick up my son from his dad’s about an hour away (without traffic, which there always is so is usually double that). And I am off alone and on the highway and the vision of dad dipping his cake into his salsa and eating it proved too much for my little brain and I exploded in heaving sobs. The commute did end up being double time from the traffic not crying because apparently a car was on fire and no one could go around. But then I was able to pick up my son and it was good to have him back. I do love my children. So Father’s Day was really good and really bad, depending on the hour you ask about. And I think all of life is like that. You cannot appreciate the good without experiencing the bad too. You cannot enjoy peace without work. You cannot appreciate love without some hate as contrast. So, long story short, good and bad happen to everyone every day and you have to appreciate both for the fullest life and peace and then joy. Do not wish for one without the other. It will not happen and you will add disappointment to your list of things in a day. No, there must be both. Make peace with it. Embrace it. Then the bad things will become shorter lived or seem less important and the good will seem more good. And happy Father’s Day to those who have lost their Daddy. So hard sometimes. Tomorrow will be better.
I seem to be unable to remove myself from my firm belief that if people saw into my heart and my reasons for what I do or say that they would instantly realize it is out of love and a genuine and honest desire for the best for the recipient. But time and time again I am humbled because I don’t realize that people can’t see my motives. Only God can do that. No one else can see your heart, see into you. They can only see as much as you expose. Those who can see past that and choose to are rare exceptions and will either accept and love you for it or reject you for it. It is their choice. And no matter how extraordinarily beneficial what you are trying to help with is, you cannot EVER make anyone do anything they don’t decide to do. You cannot push a rope. And there is a great and deep feeling of frustration and helplessness watching someone hurting because they reject your help. There is a helplessness in wanting to fix something that either cannot be fixed by you or that they don’t want fixed. It is a hopeless feeling, shakes your will up, makes your gears go from drive to park in a hurry. You cannot make a disease go away. You cannot make someone love you. You cannot make an addict not be an addict. You cannot make anyone care about anything. So many things are completely without your power to help, no matter how amazingly beautiful and sacrificial and meaningfully well intended your words or actions are. Many things are helpless, hopeless. And if that were the end of the story, that would be a really sucky story. In fact, I would hate it and give up on ever trying to help anyone (well, maybe just a reduction lol). So, what do you do when you are really good at loving and someone won’t let you love them? You do the only thing you can do, the only thing within your power to do. You pray. Your words do not ever fall on deaf ears, no matter how far away you think you are. And prayer gives the problem over to God, Who can actually help. Now that same person may be daft and reject even God’s help, but He has ways and options for love that we cannot know that person needs. Because He sees into all of us. He knows how we are cut, knows everything about us, has walked with us all our days before during and after construction. God is our only source of help and hope. And you soon realize that prayer is a superpower and the most important and active gift you can ever give to God and the other person and even yourself, because prayer releases us from the responsibility of it. It limits our responsibility to the workable doing what we can thing and giving God the rest. It is still the person’s choice always, but at least you offered it up to the greatest One to give them the best shot. And helplessness then turns to hopefulness and rest.