I thought I gave birth to a baby girl. We were to live as a family, on the land. I thought she was mine. I soon learned this was not true. This child displayed a rebellious and defiant spirit as out of control as the ocean in a huge storm, against anything that had the scent of tradition, authority or rules. Occasionally, I would have fleeting glimpses of the daughter I thought was mine. And then they would be gone! Hers became a dance of seeing how far she could stray from the line. The collateral damage and destruction of those she either hurt or destroyed in her dance of defiance is huge. Every time I look, the circle becomes larger. It includes people both close to her and those just touched by the fringes of her life, and people whom she once charmed and has since grew tired of. Then awhile back we vacationed with her at the beach. Those few short days were a gift. Time spent together was pleasant and devoid of the stress I associated with her. I’ve come to realize there is something about the ocean that seems to calm the rage she has against life and civilization. She is back inland again, and the glimpses I saw of her at the ocean have vanished again. Is the ocean her true home and not this land the rest of us live on? Perhaps she was not a baby girl, but a baby mermaid instead.
These thoughts have been triggered by both a conversation with my local pastor when he asked me to think of a time when she was innocent before all the problems began (which brought to mind a photo of her sitting on the beach when she was about 3 or so with a white suit with red and blue polka dots) and a conversation with my husband pointing out the vacation trip we took with this child was really a gift. We spent almost a full week together and it was no stress, no drama, no difficult times, just a very pleasant time together. I’m glad I was allowed to frame this vacation into the thought of a ‘normal gift’ with this child because my life history with her does not allow me many of those memories. Somehow those two images merged into the Mermaid Girl – I think that may be her!
I’ve been reading CS Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity. The following passage from the book has stuck with me.
“Why did God make a creature of such rotten stuff that it went wrong? The better stuff a creature is made of – the cleverer and stronger and freer it is – the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong.”
I think of some people I know who have lives that are pretty messed up. In fact, they appear to be in a total destruction mode. It bothers me. Then when I read this and spent some time pondering the statement, it made me realize those people have a capacity to be good to the same extent they have chosen badly. It is all about life choices and God’s grace. I was left with the knowledge (or reminder); all I can do for them is to pray for them. It is not mine to change them. Oh, but the day God decides to change them, they will have quite a story to tell! May He give me the grace to patiently remain in prayer!
Sunday, we drove past a dead tree. Dead, yet the sight was amazing. On the top tree branches were small birds perched, almost like leaves on each branch. Hay fields, blue skies and the mountain were the backdrop for this scene. As we drove by, I wished I could share this vision with my grandmother. I would try to share visions of places I lived or visited in letters that passed between us. This was the sort of thing I would have written to her about. Ahhhh…the memories of all those letters filled with love, passing between my grandmother and I!
Strange week, it has been! There was excitement and anticipation in the beginning of the week. I enjoyed a Monday at home catching up on things and working on a writing project. Tuesday morning was breakfast with a special lady friend. I left our meeting upbeat and joyous! Hubby and I were heading out of town, but needed to mail a card first. I jumped out of the car and lightheartedly headed toward the mailbox. It all happened so fast – all I remember is that everything went wrong. Either my sandal slipped off my foot, or I stumbled on the curb. Either way I found myself running to catch my balance, to no avail. I made an immediate and abrupt contact with the cement sidewalk, landing on my hand and my head. After being checked out by the doc and sent home with some pain meds, I spent the next couple of days feeling rather foolish for not being more careful; frustrated for being injured and not able to function as I normally would; and just plain feeling sorry for myself to having to endure the discomfort and inconvenience of this all. Then Thursday morning when I awoke, I realized I had much to be grateful for. God’s angels had again been looking out for me. Tuesday’s accident was unfortunate, but could have been worse in so many different ways. There were people there immediately to check on me and make sure I was ok. One woman even had the foresight to ensure I knew my hubby and we were together before being comfortable leaving me in his care. I was able to get an appointment at the clinic where I go and able to determine, nothing was broken. I may have bumped my head hard enough to have a monster black eye, but I did not scrape any of the skin on my face. In fact, I only have two small scrapes on my hand and one on my foot. My hand is turning the same colors of my face and I’ve become a friend of ice packs this week. This has turned into a week of rest and realization again of how much our heavenly father looks out for us; cares for us and protects us!