It was Sunday, and it was then, at church, I felt break-through coming.
And just when she rested from fighting and fleeing, the state picked her up, twenty minutes notice; social worker placing her back in their car seat.
And why is it when trusting is build, God allows us to be unglued from those we are rooted with? Is it to strengthen us, or teach us...the only safe place is with Him?
Arms reach for me, she screams loudly, as they take her.
She cried that day she left. I did too.
And isn't it those first heart wounds, those first lessons of who is trustworthy and who isn't, that scar us most?
And I believe in the resurrection. But when a child age one has already learned to push people away, there is the crucifix still working....and its shadows can blind us from experiencing the fullness of our redemption.
Weeks later. I get a call again. She's in danger. Her story's on Amber Alert. They call me, to see if I'll take her...if somehow they can manage to find her and her parents.
They do. The State rips her a second time from her mothers arms.
And no wonder children now-days learn early, often, frequent...that human love isn't lasting. Those closest to us can hurt us, harden us, or deceive us....though Jesus has promised life everlasting.
Her mother cried when they took her that day. So did she.
I get her home this second time around. Hours straight; I try to rock, comfort, walk with, bundle a kicking, screaming baby...not understanding why she is separated again from the one she has nestled with, trusted.
It is good Friday when they first tried to find her. But nothing feels "good" about the crucifix of such suffering; pain, abuse, hurting. And how can fear be so alive when we're dangling dead?
She pushes me away. Does she remember how she trusted? Then how they took her without any warning, like they did again with her mother? And How do you explain to a one year old; your family is sick, the social workers are trying, and when babies are taken, it's never their fault.
Finally, I let her stiff screaming body slide, down my lap to my feet; after bottle, food, toys, singing, phones, and stuffed animals fail to ease her internal suffering.
Three days straight and I am beat, warn, empty...like her. Like Jesus before His death.
The last energy she has leads her to grip the only thing she brought this time...a blanket and the jacket. Both dirty. Both stained.
She curls in a ball, but when I touch her, she screams. I rub her back anyway. And there on my feet, she holds her rags, gripping all she has, near enough...though rejecting my comfort for the sorrow that she feels.
And how many times have I been the one, wanting to draw near, but pushing, shoving, kicking those that love me far away?
I speak softly...but nothing helps her. And then there, for a second, I soak in the silence. This day between the crucifix and resurrection.
"Resurrection is coming"...ah....I fill my mind with truth. "There is hope. Your going to be o.k." I whisper gently. "There is always hope. God isn't through with you yet."
Not knowing if this promise is for to me...or her.
And I wonder today, how many of us have lived through pain, rejection, isolation, an orphan spirit in every sense? How many have lived disillusioned when our hellos turned to goodbyes, or the ones closest to us have betrayed us....And we fall broken, at the feet of our crucified God, wondering if He'll ever live again? If we will ever get through this world's crazy non-sense?
And I can almost hear them. The disciples. "Where is our redemption? How is He to save us, if He is stripped from all He has. Naked. Needy. Dead in every sense."
But, my God brought to life a dead man...He brought me from death to life...and I know He can do it again.
I lay her in our crib. The distance seems to silence her. And I am suspecting...some voices need to be quieted before they can listen.
She quietly bangs her head, a way to comfort. I squirm at the thought. But as soon as I touch her, she screams again. And I remember when I cried out for hope, when all that helped was when I sat alone, untouched.
And it is there I shed a tear, outside her door.
This resurrected life, not mine. For it is His hope inside that is so hard not to share. Even though, silence only comes sometimes when we can step back, lay low, and let God be God of each and all of our cares.
I ache, and sorrow, and grieve for my Savior. For this child used as a pulley, this infant who at age one became her parent's weapon...
And I know there is hope, life resurrected from even the most broken places. Yes, we have a God who brings beauty from ashes. So for a moment, I stand at the door; testifying to His power and His healing; before tip-toeing downstairs as the stillness pierces us, and she finally sleeps soundly...
Because tomorrow is Easter.
And God isn't through with us yet.
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