Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baby girl wails and follows me as I help her older brothers make their beds. She pulls herself up using the side rail of the bottom bunk and instead of the usual happy squeals, she cries. I know how she feels, her nose ever producing sticky wet; probably she has the headache I have, too. After a few minutes of spirits eroding, dissolving under the persistent waves of noisy, wordless complaints, I leave the boys to finish their beds, pick her up and make her warm porridge with applesauce. Maybe soothing, comforting breakfast will fill the belly and ease her discomfort. Open mouth, content for the first ten bites or so, then frustration, chubby fist smears oatmeal from her mouth across her face, over her eyes, into her hair.
I began the day with resolve to live today hand in hand with God. My heart in tune with His. Not intensely focused on perfecting my children, just leading them as He leads me. So now, instead of jumping over the edge of sanity, breaking into furious impatience with all of life, groaning my agony, I watch this little life before me and ponder humanity's brokenness.
Her lip curls under in unprovoked, mysterious hurt, her fussing breaking into loud wails, and when she looks in my eyes, her wails deepen, she turns her eyes away in offense, as if I were laughing at her or deliberately causing her pain. Is this the beginning of little girl agony? Emotions inexplicable, unique to us girls, throwing us in a tumult of pain and confusion, physical ailments exasperating over-sensitive emotions? Sticky, oatmeal smeared face contorted in misery is the very picture of us, fallen humanity, irritable, frustrated, inconsolable, so desperately in need of a Redeemer, a loving Father who knows the way things were meant to be, and is preparing that life for us anew, when this broken, distorted one is over.
He gives peace in the midst of this spirit-dulling torrent. It's impossible to ignore these times, but I feel thankful that life is not always this way. Our life holds so many good moments, times when baby girl sits in high chair eating breakfast happily for a half-hour or more, then can be put down to play on the floor and explore, content.
When porridge is gone, I wash her crying face clean, lift her out of the high chair, and lay her down in her crib. She reaches for a blanket to hold against her face and snuggles in as I cover her up. Ahh.
Yes, even the overwhelming, miserable times hold moments of joy when the God of Peace holds my hand through the storm. I just walked on water like Peter. I think I'll keep my hand in His for the rest of the day.

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