Monday, May 10, 2010

Beauty for Ashes

Tonight I met with a fellowship of some amazing women. I am new to their group and am absolutely loving getting to know them. Now, I have been a part of women's groups before, where they sit around and chat and gab and maybe throw some Jesus talk into the mix. But these ladies...these ladies are different. These gals don't fool around with the Jesus business. They get right into it and get their hands dirty, cheeks wet with tears, hearts open and bare and vulnerable. These ladies dig.

I was humbled and honored tonight to hear one mommy's story of great loss and heartache. How does a mommy do it? How does she bury her baby after suffering such loss of life? In the years working in the Pediatric ICU, I often wondered that. When we would lose a patient, it was hard and heart-wrenching, but at the end of the experience, we gently carry the child to the morgue and then return to care for another patient. I don't mean that as callously as it may sound, but that's the bottom line of it.

But the mommy? How does she leave the hospital? How does one walk back out the car and drive away, knowing that she will not be returning for her child? How does a mother bury a child, and yet still breathe? How does she survive that?

I saw the heart of this mommy tonight, still grieving 9 years later, still aching over the magnificent love for her beautiful son. I saw this mommy, whom I have admired, never having known before the reality of her journey. Isn't that the case for most of us? That most of us don't really know the journeys that our brothers and sisters have traveled to get to this place now? But this sister tonight...I saw Jesus in her.

Such strength in broken weakness.
Such humility in incredible hurt.
Such surrender where there could easily be defiance.
Such worship where there is unimaginable pain.

Such beauty.

She has a perspective on mommyhood that most of us will never know, would never wish to know, and yet would always long to see life with such compassion, grace, mercy and unconditional love. She has a gentleness about her that just cannot be defined. She knows how precious it all is, and how easily it is lost. She knows what it is to cherish.

I mourn with my sister who mourns. I honor her journey, for thus far the Lord has brought her. And He will continue to do so...

Love you, sister of mine. Praise God for who you are, who He has made you to be.

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