Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Gift from My Daughter, Age 2

You burst into our world like a butterfly
Stretching from your chrysalis of infancy 
Into this beauty you wear
Beautifully unaware

I promised myself I wouldn't contribute
To the inevitable smudging of your clear sight
And so when I see your precious face
I stand before the mirror and rejoice

I stand on the scale and celebrate
I pick out clothes with joy
Choosing to be glad in this body before you
Before you learn anything else

And your little presence
Has showered on me this huge gift:
I look in the mirror and rejoice
Because I see you

This - the nose that will be yours someday
The freckles (yours, so far just two delicious drops),
The hair, the chin, the smile-lines
All mine, but also, inevitably yours.

And you

You are unbelievably beautiful.
And so I
Must be beautiful too.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Resurrection Sunday

We didn't get to attend a single service this Easter weekend.  My favourite weekend, Resurrection Sunday, the day that reverberates with freedom and gladness and life - it's the kind of weekend best spent in a crowd, singing Hallelujah.

But the kids got sick and we got sick and none of our plans turned out like they were supposed to, so we spent fourteen pointless hours on the road and finally crawled into our own beds late Saturday night.

So this Easter Sunday finds us at home, alone, cuddling in our pyjamas.  I read about this recent massacre in Kenya at Garissa University, and my heart breaks for the mamas who are spending their Easter weekend looking at dead bodies, hoping against hope not to see their own darlings lying there.

I close my computer and hug my kids close.

Suddenly Sam yells, "I'm bigger 'n you!" and starts chasing Vava, monster claws extended.  She shrieks and runs to us for safety.

Patrick wraps his arms around Sam and reminds him that when you're big, you get to use your bigness to take care of people around you, and if you use it to hurt them, you're not really big at all; you're weak and not brave.

And that is Easter, right there.

Jesus taking His big goodness and using it to take care of us, taking our place, setting us free.  Thorns and nails and furrowed back, spit and scorn and fists.  He took it all, from us, and then He took the wrath from God.  He died.

That's the kind of God I love.  The perfect one who took the punishment in order to extend mercy.  Mercy!  Grace!  Pardon!  Welcome!

And His followers - we're safe in Him, so we get to be His kind of big.  The kind of big that protects and loves and risks our skin to show kindness to those who need it.  The deep down immeasurable fullness that is the opposite of meanness in every way.

Some of those students at Garissa helped each other escape.  Put others before themselves, even when their lives were at stake. That kind of selflessness bows my heart.  Bravery, love, mercy - echoes of Easter, even in the carnage.

Survivors tell of hearing victims being asked if they were Christians - and they said yes, even in the middle of that madness, with guns to their heads.

And they went right on into those stretched-out arms, straight into Easter-promised heaven, brave.

I hope those sad mamas who face the wrenching truth that yes, their children are gone, will forever clutch this truth to their broken hearts:

Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.  -John 11:25
Thank God for Easter, friends.
xo.