More than one kind of cell

When there’s too much going on inside, I’ve learned it’s best to find a quiet place and pen the words that beg to be said.

Christmas…that time of hope realized, promises kept, love, peace, and good will; all perfect gifts from a Good God who loves us all, One who understood and understands, still, the bondage of sin and the prisons it creates.

There are those physical cells of bondage where keys lock barred doors keeping the bound separated from the free, but those are not the only prisons.

I can see…

I can see those who appear free but live locked in the hurt, the pain, the confusion and despair created by chaos embraced, sown, and grown over years of rebellion and self-will by those who came before. I see devastation, hate, anger, and frustration that doesn’t know how to settle and little people battling what looms large over, before, and behind them; a darkness that threatens the innocence of childhood. With no ability to understand and articulate what is beyond their years yet ever present, little ones lash out at those closest to them in effort to find release for what binds and pinches as difficult memories and unfulfilled longings refuse to abate. How deep is the sadness as I watch with aching heart, wanting to love away the hurt…I can’t do it. It’s too big for me.

The absolute hardest thing I’ve ever faced is my inability to fix what is broken. It lingers daily and my soul says again and again, “it’s too big for me Lord, but not too big for You.” So I watch and I wait and I pray for healing that only He can bring; for peace that only He can give; for joy to come and drive away the darkness and for fellowship, sweet, to engulf my boys as they each try to make sense of a world of hurt. I see the bridge-builder, only slightly ahead of the other, laying one stone at a time offering a footing for little fellow to take. I see a tiny, hesitant heart afraid to trust because of loss too big, too early, then sadness for both over distance that separates.

I remember two other young children, ages 5 and 6, 40 years ago, similarly hurt and overwhelmed with loss, reaching for each other, but too far away to grasp. The years have grown us, scars cover over what was then deep, open wounds, and we still reach open-handed toward the other, knowing our love was and is a safe place. May these two little ones know the same in time and may they live at least as well as we, living to ease the suffering of others as best we can…

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