Friday, April 22, 2011

carry us Lord

Lord, let my tyler's sleep be sweet tonight.  a mother's prayer.  a silent chant as i finally fell asleep in the midnight hour.  it would be tyler's last night of not-knowing.  tyler has spent the past few days on a class trip.  he has been on an island off the coast of georgia exploring the wonders of marine biology.  on an island--protected.  i am sure much of it has been heaven for my teen-boy-explorer.  

back at home we have been staring into the ugly face of a breast cancer diagnosis.  we have resisted any exploration.  in fact, we have pretty much shut down to any further discovery.  tuesday's news was enough.  for a while.   

but today tyler comes home.  i wake in the dark knowing i will have to look into the eyes of my young man and attempt to explain something i cannot explain.  after sharing it with sarah, connor and then emily...i am left with a deep well of sadness.  it is not something any mother wants to tell her children.  there is no way to dress it up nicely or spin it out kindly.  it hurts.  from the first utterance of the word it slices. rips. tears.  the children know too much.  we have heard too much in our day and time.  i can attempt to assure them of best cast scenario, but we are shaken to our core.  we rattle.  i can see the rattling of my already told-children in these past two days.  they have all slept with me in these nights since knowing.  we can't be close enough.  

Oh Lord, thank you for children who want to run to my arms and bury heads in my lap.  thank you for children who want to make me things, make me laugh, make me okay.  they are the worst part of this and the best part.  i have hated the telling and the knowing and the fearing...but am so thankful for the healing and the comforting and the distracting of my children.  they have pushed me beyond breast cancer. even if just for a moment. they have reminded me they still need lunches and bandaids and baths.  they will keep me going in this journey.  this journey for which i didn't sign up.  this journey which i never once imagined.  this journey which requires my entire family to travel.  this journey...

so today i look at my list of things to accomplish and i must add the telling of tyler.  i wanted to be thinking about easter eggs and pastel colored baskets.  but this Good Friday afternoon i will sit my son down with news which will cloak him in heaviness.  this boy.  this soon-to-be-man will want to carry it for me.  i know him.  he is a carrier.  he is my son who seeing me with arms full of laundry insists on taking the load from me.  he is a boy quick to say, "here mom, let me do that for you."  that trash emptying. that hole digging.  that firewood getting.  that chair moving.  that little sister toting.  that carrying.  he carries.  he is tender like no other teen boy i've met.  he has a strong spirit, but a soft heart.  i have nothing to do with that.  it is how he came.  God dropped him into our laps 13 years ago and though he has my same eyes, he came with his very own tender heart.  he is a comforter.  a peacemaker. a laugh-bringer.  a joy-digger.  a gentler.  a steadier.  a smoother of wrinkles.   

but this boy on the brink of manhood is also a rather smart kid.  he will know immediately this is not an easy load.  he will know he cannot whisk this yoke from his mother's shoulders.  he will know he cannot move this mountain. he will know soon that his arms, like mine, are not able.  he will know how weak we really are.

oh Lord.  you know today i will tell him.  you already know the conversation and the concern and the comfort.  you already know the reaction and the response and resistance.   precious Jesus, will you provide the strength in the telling and the strength in the hearing and the strength in the journeying...the carrying.   Jesus will you carry tyler?  all of us.   he is a carrier.  but he, today, like the rest of us, will learn to be carried.  held.  we never knew in all our blessing how very much we would need carrying.  

but today,  all of us will know. 

Lord, our arms are weak.  our legs give out.  our hearts beat in fear.  
mouths taste fear.  breath catches.   minds wander.  thoughts spin. voices quiver.   eyes tear.  hands shake.  dread rises.  doubts simmer.  

but you, Lord, you Lord, you Lord...
YOU carry.  
when we can't.  you can.  
and Lord? we can't.
we can't. 

carry us Lord.  
carry us. 

 "it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down."  ~ isaiah 53:4

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
 and you will find rest for your souls.
  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
~ matthew 11:28-30

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