From the Fray

I could hear it coming from the back of the house.

The thump. Some rumbling. And then, a whimper.

Voices mumbled in the distance, trying to console—or maybe convince not to tell. But it wasn’t enough.

A door flew open and a five-year-olds cry pierced the silence.

It was one of those cries that, as a mother, I knew meant no one was injured. In the language of bellows, this one translated as a broken heart. Feelings that had been hurt. And so I waited, curious to see if the little caravan would make its way to me, or be consoled amongst themselves.

And they came. One crying. One explaining.

Both spouting out so much information at once that I couldn’t hear or understand the words. But, the hurt. That I understood completely.

I quickly assuaged the explainer, telling him I understood. It was clearly an accident. Not meant for harm. He apologized and moved on.

But the injured heart remained. Broken and wailing.

As I took him in my arms, we rocked. I could feel his heartbeat slowing. His sniffling subsided. And two tiny arms wrapped around me with all their strength and held on to holding on.

I hummed a little tune I used to sing to him when he was a baby, and he laid his head on my shoulder, just needing someone to love him. Someone to understand him. Someone to do nothing more than know him.

All it took was a few moments on my part. Then recharged, he jumped off of my lap and returned to the fray.

And suddenly I understood.

My longing to be held the same way. The deep need I had to be understood. My greatest hope that in this life, someone—just one someone—would know me, would get me, and would understand the broken parts of me and choose me anyway. And my heart began to heal a little. To close up the gaping wound that’s resulted from the last three years of struggles.

I ran to my Father with a new joy in my heart. One I’ve been missing these many months. And remembered:

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Even when we are rejected in this world, we have One who is waiting for us to come to Him and climb into His lap. One who gets us, and chooses us anyway. One who sees us, and longs to save us from our hurting, broken hearts. He takes such joy in us, and can quiet our fears and our hurts with His love. One who rejoices over us with the songs He’s been singing in our lives since creation.

And just that moment. That small, seemingly insignificant moment, gives me the strength I need to return to the fray.

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