not for vengeance did the lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts,
nor has he done so with us.
– judith 8, 25-27 (apocrypha)
“tell everyone at the same time.”
our midwife lost her husband the year before. she’d walked through the giving of news to those who loved them again and again. to console the hearer when your heart is breaking is too much.
“if you can. tell everyone at once.”
we had an everyone. we’d living in ohio for three years and during that short one thousand days, we made friends like i’d never had. many of them were unpacking, washing, hanging and setting up a place for us. people who loved not in word, but in deed.
my dad entered the hotel after working among that love in action. he sat in a chair and looked like he might cry. we were all easy to cry now and it didn’t surprise, but his words did.
“those people. they are setting up your house…” he broke off. “they love you.”
we weren’t raised in church. my dad knew that family was who stepped in to save the day. he’d never known the skin on jesus to lift boxes or to tuck coffee mugs behind kitchen cabinet doors just so. but he knew it that day and he was overwhelmed.
when josh told them, i was in the hotel room. he got everyone’s attention and announced this truth.
“mazzy has down syndrome.”
i was across town while my friends heard shocked and i did not see the tears and i felt none of the shifting emotions. i was a few days ahead of them, alone, nursing, looking – gestating words and information.
it was night time when i came home. i stole back into real life under the cover. my husband stood ready to open our new front door like christmas morning. the lamps gave soft glow to a room prepared. throws on couches set and picture frames on small tables, i felt like i walked into someone else’s lovely home, but it was mine, it was for me. we went upstairs to our room and the co-sleeper had pink blankets folded down. i lay mazzy on the changing table and diapers, out of the package, lined up, waiting welcome. never was love so tangible towards me, towards us. i needed more than any one person could say or do – but together, jesus gave a peaceful place, a quiet home, to a mind furious with sorrow and love mingled down.
i was suffering.
and my friends created sanctuary and they gave it to me and left me alone in it. their love rang off the walls and in that place, healing began.
gratitude list ~ one thousand gifts ~ 431 – 450
telling on friends
a much needed massage
can of corn
lovely grocery stores too expensive
van fixed up and ready to go
snow outside, warm food cooking inside
wagon for the walk home
oven pads waiting patient on the counter
hand me downs from bethany
kids staying the night at mom and dad’s
getting my eyes checked
dinner at the whitney
that jesus tells the truth
people who do the god life
the risen dough of the kingdom
photo credit: hillary fox