Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Scar + The Sacred.

We were sitting around the table one evening last weekend reading a Bible story with the girls before bed.

"What do you treasure?" I asked, wondering about whether they had been paying attention.
Predictably, my younger daughter grinned wide. "PRESENTS!"
I chuckled and looked at my eldest, asking her the same thing. "Food," she spoke carefully.

The moment the word tumbled out, I was reminded again that three-year-olds don't quickly forget what it's like to know the deep ache in their stomach. There's a fancy term for it: food insecurity. Sometimes at six, she still gets nervous that there won't be enough for tomorrow, so she asks for a snack every night just to make sure.

I quickly gathered myself as best I could, changed the subject, and put them in bed before I fell apart inside. I hate it that she is still struggling with this..that even after years of faithfully providing meals for her, her fear of going hungry still lingers.
Sometimes I forget that I am parenting little ones with deeper emotional wounds than that of many adults I know. Almost three years into this journey, those wounds are healing and the hurts are harder to spot perhaps, but the evidence remains: some wounds leave scars, and the wound of neglect cuts to the quick.

Seth was preaching on Sacraments recently and he spoke of them as Sacred Moments - experiences where God's grace and our lives intersect, times where the human and the Holy miraculously collide.
Where were my most sacred moments? Some were undoubtedly the Sacraments recognized by Christians everywhere -- when I experienced baptism as an adult, our wedding day, some really moving times of Communion, the night I answered the call to ministry. Those were all occasions when God came near in a unique way and his presence made a life-altering imprint on my heart.

But if I am honest, surely the most sacred - meaning the most hushed, hallowed, consecrated
times - where I felt the weight of glory heaviest on my soul, have taken place as God stitched up my deeply broken heart.
The moments that the glory of God most markedly covered me were the ones when I was most injured by the harsh reality of life in a fallen world. It has been in Christ's repair shop that I have most fully experienced the loving presence of a faithful God: in tragedy, sorrow, disappointment, regret, and others' sins against me.

So basically, all the moments I have desperately tried to avoid with all diligence are the ones where I become the most intimately acquainted with my Savior.

Scars aren't as ugly if you know Jesus better because of them.


She mentioned her "first mommy" tonight and I sensed grief weighing on her so heavily that it was hard for me to breathe. "Why doesn't she ever come around? How come she left?" Sometimes she asks if her other mom is in Heaven; after all, that's where my mom is and she sees me grieve the loss from time to time... it makes perfect sense if you're six and you feel a loss deeply. Questions I can't answer or explain away, hurts too deep for any cheap talk, and broken promises too big to ignore. Scars that can't be seen by the naked eye.

And yet, those scars could run headlong into a Sacred time of leaning into her Savior. 

In the middle of the sadness, may she hear whispers of truth and love and an even more meaningful adoption where she will find the grace of her Heavenly Father in the midst of these deep disappointments.

May she find the Bread of Life most fulfilling because she once knew the pang of hunger.

May she know that truly, he never leaves of forsakes or disappears or runs away when things get tough -- oh no, that's not his style. He prefers to sit with her and enter into the pain along with her as he tenderly works to bring healing in the broken places. Some people might not know this about him, but He delights in becoming a refuge, a safe place to get angry and throw hands up and ask why this world wields such dangerous weapons.

May she find this above all:  
He too bore the scars so that he might simultaneously know how it feels AND fix it. 
He added value to our suffering, which is the definition of redemption. She will need to know that it doesn't happen for naught...God so longed to have deep, meaningful, life-giving fellowship with her that he was willing to do so over a bowl of her tears.

Her Sacred Moments will be much richer because he will come to her as a Healer. Not some far-off God, but a loving Dad who entered into the pain with her - by going to the deep wound and cleaning it, and also ending that wound's hold on her through the loving nail-scarred hands.


The Sacred One continues to meet humanity in the Holy scars, the ones in which we find healing. He is inviting my precious daughter into it. He invites you as well, with a promise only He can make. "For the suffering of this time, while very small and swift, prepares us great glory without limits for the eternity of eternities."


Guatmama said...

Beautiful Lauren, got my morning cry over with before work.