Although I’ve sat here nearly every evening for the last seven years, the glider rocker in my son’s room, amazingly, still doesn’t creak.
I placed the rocker in his room when he was a baby, but it’s just never left. It’s my seat for our evening routine, and tonight is no different.
My husband’s voice is charismatic. When he reads, no matter what it is, the story sounds authentic. His affect is confident, but not loud. Captivating even. If he ever decides this lawyer gig isn’t for him anymore, I feel sure he can get a job reading books on tape. Or commentating on the radio. Folks would listen for sure.
I can’t concentrate on his voice tonight.
Lately, every time I get still, it’s as if I can hear the entire world.
Crying. Shouting. Pleading.
In anger. In fear. In anguish.
I can put it aside during the day. I’ve learned it is best to fight off my inclination to listen to the news on my commute to work in the morning. Seriously, it has a terrible effect on my health. Raises my blood pressure, makes me tense, and the acid reflux reaches epic proportions. So I don’t do that. And I keep myself busy.
But now the homework is done. The supper dishes are put away. Everyone has gotten their baths, donned their PJs and all is now calm and quiet, save for my husband’s voice reading a chapter out of Little House on the Prairie, which is what we are reading at the moment.
“Laura brought the fiddle-box to him. Pa tuned the fiddle and rosined the bow, and then while Ma cooked supper he filled the house with music….”
Gaza. Flesh-eating bacteria. ISIS.
“…The wind was screaming fiercer and louder outside. Snow whirled swish-swishing against the windows. But Pa’s fiddle sang in the warm, lamp-lighted house…”
Children fleeing terror. Children fleeing persecution. Ebola.
“…Everything was so good. Grasshoppers were gone, and next year Pa could harvest the wheat. Tomorrow was Christmas, with oyster stew….”
Ferguson. James Foley.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve tuned out from the story.
I have no idea how to process all this. I absolutely do not. I guess if my kids asked me about any of the above, I could find some words, but I don’t know if they would be a real answer. I don’t know if I can tell them the horrible truths about the world we live in. That they live in. I just don’t.
Thank you for our safety. Thank you for our home. Thank you for our jobs, our churches, and the ability to lay our heads down at night and sleep peacefully.
At this point, I feel like a little child myself.
Look, I know You can do anything. I know it. I believe that. So please….
Oh my gosh, this is so big, so much to ask.
…well, maybe this too much to ask…
“Seek and ye shall find…”
…fine, I’m just going to put it out there. Peace, God. Please bring Peace.
Not just a little bit. Peace with a capital P. For the whole world.
Did I just ask God for world peace? What am I, a pageant queen? I might as well start wearing a tiara.
Story time is over. Sissy heads down the hall to her room, where I will check on her in a few moments. First though, it’s time to snuggle with BB for a few while he says his prayers:
“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen….Thank you, God, for Mama and Daddy, Sissy, Meme and Paw, Grandmother and Granddaddy, my uncles and aunts, my cousins and friends. Thank you for letting me have a good day today. Help me sleep good tonight. Help me have a good day tomorrow. Amen.”
“Mama, aren’t you going to sing?” I hum a simple tune every night. I have no clue what it is, if anything. I think it’s something my mother made up when I was little. It’s part of the nightly ritual.
Afterward, I lean down and kiss the top of his head, and stop to smell his freshly washed hair.
Please bring Peace. For these babies.
Big, hot tears soak the hair on top of his head. He sits up suddenly, and I think he is going to call me out on the crying.
“Mama, you know the big yellow thing at the playground at school that you can climb on? Well, if you get to the very top of it, there’s a big round thing up there that you can sit on, and it’s just like being way, way up in the sky.” He lay down again.
Way, way up in the sky.
After I stop in Sissy’s room, I head up to the den to attempt to relax and maybe get a little writing done. But first, a little social media.
|Read the comments. There’s a couple of sick trolls in there.|
God, this is not ok. That is my friend they’re threatening. Seriously?
I pray for the journalists. I used to be one. Maybe one day I will be again. Most folks don’t realize how that kind of work can turn precarious on the most mundane of days. I’m as jaded about the national media as anyone, but there are still some true journalists out there at the local level.
Please bring Peace. But not peace by intimidation, for that isn’t peace at all. Be with those who must stand up for themselves against tyranny and aggression.
And then all the shared opinion pieces about how to feel about all of the things. They convey about as much actual experience with overzealous police, communicable diseases, and the plights of immigrant children as I have. Which is to say none. Sweeping generalizations don’t help.
What I would like to hear…real people’s real stories.
“… caught in the very act … the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” … Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground the sins of each of them …they went away, one by one…”Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
“Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt.
So many stories.
These troubles aren’t really new at all, are they?
And suddenly, there’s the Peace in it all.
He was here then. He’s here now. He will be here tomorrow.
Come what may.