And as the moonlight warms the room with its haze, I look to see three sets of white feet lined up in a row next to mine, and I ache and pray for her sweet brown set to join us.
“Thy will be done…”
And there is a day fast approaching on the calendar. A day to celebrate for many, a day of remembering what was lost or what was never had for so many others.
And as I rejoice over what I have and ache over what I don’t (and what she doesn't), I know that there are so many hurting, grieving, weary women dreading the day that feels like salt in their wound.
I’ve been thinking about them as I bend down.
This weekend, when the moon goes dark and then becomes just the tiniest sliver of light, I’m bending down. I’m praying for the hurting. The forgotten. The weary. The exhausted. The broken. The angry. The bruised. I’m praying for women everywhere. I’m bending down on their behalf.
I'm bending down for you: The Mama who never got to bring her child home, whose crib remains empty and rocker remains still. For the young woman who tries to be happy for all her friends and their swelling bellies and Facebook pictures. And for the woman who has birthed one child or two and is struggling with the mystery and silence of secondary infertility. For the older woman who knits the baby blanket — soft and warm — she never needed for her own.
The graying woman in front of me in the checkout line who doesn’t hear from her children, doesn’t know who will take care of her when life gets harder. For the mother whose child has chosen a path of bad choices and left her behind in a sea of guilt and questions. I’m bending down for you.
The mom who knows there will be one less Mother’s Day card this year. For the mother whose grief is no longer new but still just as real, who feels stuck while everyone else has moved on. For the mom who would give anything to hear her child’s voice yelling through the halls and see smudgy fingerprints on walls again. For the woman who sits in the pew on Sunday and wonders if she can bear the weight of the empty space beside her. I’m bending down for you.
The mommy who stays steady by the hospital bed and watches her child hurt and feels helpless and wonders if things will ever feel normal again. The mom struggling with a nest that is empty while only feathers remain, trying to remember who she was and what she did before she had kids. I’m bending down for you.
The exhausted new mother who’s struggling, wondering if she will ever sleep again, stop crying in the shower, figure out this nursing thing, feel attached to this little person she doesn’t know how to make happy, be brave enough to tell others that she isn’t enjoying motherhood yet. The mother who is weary in the journey wondering if the toddler tantrums will ever stop, the teenage moodiness will be survived. I'm bending down for you.
The adopting mom who wonders if the wait and paperwork and ache will ever end. The mommy with her adopted child newly home wondering if he will ever love her, ever trust her, recover from his scars. The foster mom who just said bye to one more child, wondering how much time she has to heal before she does it again. The mom who made the hardest choice to give her baby up and thinks about him everyday. I’m bending down for you.
The single woman who longs for a child of her own. The woman who aches for her own mom, wishing she were still here, wishing she could still talk to her. The woman whose mom was never around, never available, never there for her. I’m bending down for you.
And for the man whose hurt is just as real but is often forgotten. The father who is tucking his kids in tight, mourning the mommy that is no longer there to tuck them in too. The man who is spending his first mother's day without a card to send. The man who wishes he had a mother in his life to celebrate. I'm bending down for you too.
For all the hurting people in my life, forgive me when I’ve failed to encourage, failed to remember, failed to be there, failed to pour out all the gifts of encouragement and time and love that others have used to fill me up. I am remembering you this weekend. I’m praying that I will learn to show His love by sharing mine.
I’m praying for peace when it seems far away. I’m praying for healing when it seems impossible. I’m praying for encouragement when it seems unlikely. I’m praying for joy when it seems unattainable.
I’m praying for His power, His glory, His peace, and His strength to fill all the wounds and gaps and empty places that only He can.
I’m reminding myself and I’m reminding you: We have a Savior Who understands pain.
We have a Savior Who longs to comfort us and hold us. We have a Savior Who walks with us and before us at the same time. We have a Savior Who bent down low to wash feet, mix mud into healing balm, to pick up the cross.
And Who also stood tall and crafted the moon from His very command, determined that some nights it would disappear, and that the dark would come.
And Who then makes the light return again.
I’m praying for the hurting this Mother’s Day weekend.