I’m convinced that there is no more beautiful spot on earth on the first of June than Cherry Lane. It runs just south of my back yard. When the afternoon spills its light just before dusk, brilliant and lavish, the field grasses on the hillside seem lit from within, topped with flames of white fire. It’s holy. * There’s a stand of a half dozen aged poplar trees on the west side of the lane growing near a small culvert and behind a low, stone wall. The stones cracked free from some ancient lava flow, and now they rest one atop the other covered in lichen and last year’s moss. The poplar leaves rustle in the slightest breeze and always make the sound of a rushing mountain creek. The wet, pungent scent of poplar and the small watery roar instantly pulls me back to when I was a little girl. Dad would drive the old camper truck off onto random forest service roads in Colorado and while mom cooked lunch on the propane stove, we’d …
Sex can be both reproductive and miraculous. It can also be safe and fun and wonderful. But never outside of it’s place. And long before sex, a guy needs to understand he never, ever can rightly claim ownership of a functioning vagina or the woman it belongs to. Therefore he cannot ever understand the depth of pain and debilitating shame that comes when a guy claims a vagina for his own like some historical European explorer shoving a flag into the soil of a far flung island and saying, “Mine.”
I can tell you this: being brave enough to recognize fear as it manifests itself in your own temperament and day-to-day living will give you the stepping stones that you need to bravely, confidently, lovingly, even with your internal organs gathering up in your throat, give those fledglings the push they need to fall from the nest and stick their God-given wings out onto the air of adulthood.
We held a small memorial for a little creature whose ability to receive love taught us all a big lesson: to love is to name is to care is to keep. It is to mourn and to cry, too; and it is to continue to create and care about the living and the dying and the not-yet-born.
One does not need to do anything remarkable to be an object of love. One only needs to be that which it is – cat, boy, mom, dad, human, alive.
The point is, parents, we have to realize that we have less and less to do with their holiness when we want Jesus to become more and more important to them. We have to trust God as our kids learn the unforced rhythms of grace because it isn’t a free-pass from anything that hurts them. They will be tested and bested, bedraggled and beat up. This grace school is a school of hard knocks.
Isn’t learning to walk yoked with Jesus the most amazing thing I’ve discovered yet in my own life?
And don’t I want more than anything for my kids to choose this full-abundant-scary-good-life?