“I am a mother of three boys so I spend much time with mud. I have become convinced they know something we have forgotten.
We are made of mud.
Made from this earthy, messy stuff. Made to sprout and grow, fall and return to the earth much like the plants rooted in this mud. But we are always cleaning ourselves up, polishing the edges. Washing and cleaning and primping, just to look a little less muddy, a little more ok. And when the storm comes we pull out umbrellas and put on galoshes. A little protection against the rain that has the power to make us melt right back into this dirty stuff. We forget that the nutrients, everything we need, has been lying on the surface and the rain has come to wash them in. You can walk across dry, cracked dirt without getting your feet wet, but you cannot grow a garden in it. There is no life there. The life lives in the mess.
I thank my Father for the storms dumped down hard, so I don’t grow parched and hard, so I can’t scrape away all the earth I was made from. So I can’t trick myself into thinking I am something I am not.
So we play in the mud together and I wonder at it’s beauty. I kneel down next to my sons and paw through wet sand and dirt, searching for the gold. And we always find it, buried deep within the mess.”
I wrote the words above a few days before we found out that our precious baby’s heart had stopped beating. I wrote about holding vigil when I thought God had healed my body and the danger of losing our child was past. I was wrong, not in the writing of it, but in thinking we would hold our child. And now I wonder at all these words He gave me. I read my Bible as I wait for the doctors to take my dead child from my body, and sometimes the holy words help and sometimes I can’t make sense of any of it. But these words I wrote before I even knew, He gave these words a gift to me. I keep looking at Him as God, trying to console myself that He knows best, His plans and design are perfect. Except that right now I don’t like them. I see beauty coming from brokenness even now, but I don’t want to be broken anymore. I just want my baby. I just want my body not to be torn to shreds. I want to keep walking full and fruitful, enjoying every second of life growing strong inside my body, but instead I lie shaking and sweating in bed, walking dazed through the world and so afraid.
I am made only of dust and I am afraid.
My friend prayed “for the presence of a weeping Jesus to be close to us” and I am reminded that God’s Son was made of mud just like I am.
I “know” that my Father, my Maker loves me, that He holds me tight and will somehow work this for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose… I am trusting my frail body and my broken soul to His forgiveness and protection, but it is still hard to find comfort in this. It is hard to feel loved right now. But Jesus was made of earth and dirt and He was broken more than I will ever be, and still He was loved. He is weeping here with me now. He knows how this body hurts, not in theory but in excruciating experience. He has seen His own blood spilled and felt his own heart forsaken and empty. He has seen all the life He had to give poured out and rejected. He did not want to die, He did not want to leave those He loved and He carried a burden heavier than He could bear. He suffered all of this because of His Father’s good and loving plan, a plan that broke His body and filled Him with pain. Because of this, Jesus holds me weeping and whispers how His Spirit can calm the storm. His Life lives in my broken body made of dust, facing death, assured of new life. Because our Father loves us enough to bring us together, Jesus bore not only the brokenness of my body, but of my soul and now I am hidden in Him. There is so much comfort in being held by a Friend who knows and weeps with me.
My child is no longer made of dust. We named our baby Beacon, and Beacon has put on eternity, more real and solid and alive than anything I have ever touched on this earth. I am still here in the mess, held in my Savior’s arms as He cries out with me, asking for strength to live these words that I wrote…
“And this is what I want to hold, from now until forever. A vigil of wonder. Not of death, sadness or fear. A quiet vigil of wonder. Where, in the waiting and the stillness, I can hear and see. To observe with wonder His redemption this world speaks of.”
He doth give His joy to all, He becomes an infant small. He becomes a man of woe, He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh, and thy Maker is not by. Think not thou canst weep a tear, and thy Maker is not near.
O! He gives to us His joy that our griefs He may destroy. Til our grief is fled and gone, He doth sit by us and moan.
– William Blake
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken says the Lord who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10-12