Epaphroditus, a regular guy, who cared and made a difference, famously in Paul's life. I'm supposed to be memorizing the script for teaching the 200 or so kindergarteners through second grade this weekend at church. We're learning about how if we care for others, we can make a difference.
I'm needing the message this extraordinarily difficult parenting week. Plodding on with the Asperger situations, plodding on with teen girl who needs lessons, caring, God, home.
I keep thinking of the women in the circle on Thursday night. Verna's son was in prison, roomed with his dad. Her daughter, an unwed mother of two. The other three, creating heartbreak of one sort or another. But, there she was glistening still with hope and confidence in the Lord. Dee as well. Nina too. Judy has been there. Mothers with punctures in their full hearts.
I become deceived in thinking that I'm unique in my troubles.That there was some breakdown somewhere that was my fault. Yet as I pour over the memories, I see myself with my beautiful little girl, and we are close (as she'll permit in her individuality), and we are an example of relational family. And, I made all sorts of sacrifices for the good of her and my son. And, I turned over things to God as best as I humanly could. Yet somewhere there was a breakdown and I want to blame myself. How could I help my son's condition? Yet, now I need to superhuman help him the best I can. That is crazy. Yet it feels as if there was a breakdown somewhere.
I keep hearing the women say things like, "Don't worry. God will have buffers to protect your daughter wherever she is. There are people He wants her to meet still that can help her." I pray for buffers. However, don't mothers truly know that there can come a point where there are no buffers at all? That young stupid girls can become lost within bondages? That people can become victims of cruelty, which the Amish schoolhouse newly symbolizes in the line of a multitude of other buffer-free icons? Buffers are often a matter of circumstance, not divine intervention. This, I clearly acknowledge in the face of fact.
Faith versus reality is difficult at times like these. Yet, given the world we live in, I know that I need the good news and the good hope and the ultimate reality of Reconciliation more than ever. Please, Lord, help my unbelief. Grant me second by second hope. Allow me the peace and acceptance of whatever happens upon this Earth with the knowledge that You care and exist and will redeem all of it one, fine, healing day.