the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Poetry & Prose

I lay in bed last night playing over and over in my head a conversation that never happened. Certainly for the better it has not existed. This conversation is the place where I rehearse all the crappy things that have happened in my life in the past 3 ½ years with an attitude of both arrogance and pity. Its pretty ugly.  To be fair to myself, it has been an unusually long string of difficulty, mostly out of my control. The nature of some of it is quite personal and we have not chosen to share them publicly, though in smaller conversations we are open about them.

When I play the scenario in my head I say it with a mellow-dramatic tone to cause others to feel bad for being so na├»ve to my story and hardship. As if to imply “yeah, see, these past 3 ½ years really have been quite unusual, now don’t you feel like a jerk for saying something so trite.” Like I said…ugly.  It’s really stupid. And I feel embarrassed even in front of myself for the attention-seeking attitude I can have in these imaginary conversations.

This morning as I am praying I am reading about Jesus pleading to God to take away his suffering. I am also reading Solomon’s writing in Ecclesiastes about the vapor-like quality of our relatively short lives. One the one hand I have an account of suffering that slows life down to each meaningful minute of prayer and sweaty tears; and on the other hand I have this view of life from the end looking back and calling it quick and almost meaningless. So much variety in the Scriptures.

Somehow in all this poetry & prose I realize I have a great desire for my suffering to be redemptive. I don’t want to the pain to be lost and jammed somewhere in my soul that keeps me having imaginary conversations so people know just how unfortunate life has been for me (though I would argue it has ultimately not been!). I see there has been much redemption in our journey with Jonan. We have been deeply changed, and others have shared their own change with us as well. That feels redemptive. And most importantly, redemption honors God. But there are other pains that haunt me as well. Pains that have been in my life because of really bad decisions others have made, some directly against me; pains that are because of my own really be decisions; and some just because we live in a broken world (like losing Jonan).

I am thinking today that the only antidote to my imaginary, full-of-myself conversations is to bring my places of pain and suffering to God in prayer. One by one. To go from these imaginary conversations to a conversation with the truest Reality of the world. I need to come clean from my arrogance, and at time, pity. There is something inside me that does not feel at peace with the redemptive part of those places of suffering, they simply feel like suffering. Yes, there has been much healing in these various places, but something in me desires these places of pain to be opened up and used to the glory of God even more so. As I have written before, there is no great fulfillment or calling in life than to know God and bring Him honor.

As I pray today through my list of suffering that I actually wrote out, I am praying you all could do the same, those of you who have known deep pain. That the greatest glory that could be to God for our suffering would come about. Whether the pain is a day old or 30 years old. I pray for greater redemption. That all God desires from our pain could be accomplished (not that He caused it, but He can certainly heal it and redeem it).

I don’t know how these prayers will be answered- maybe my heart becomes softer and more compassionate, maybe I can pray differently for others in their pain, maybe I get to walk alongside someone else in a similar suffering, maybe things I haven’t even thought of. I don’t know yet. But I do hope that as I have real conversations with God and ask Him to use my suffering redemptively; I will be more focused on Him and less on my own self-absorbed fake conversations. I pray there to receive the affirmation I (and maybe you) need; so that my imaginary friends don’t have to give false pity and keep redemption from entering.

I pray the strength for us to give to God our sufferings, one by one in prayer, and to ask Him to use them for His glory. 

1 comment:

  1. As one who is able to see a lot of what is not said in this post - I really get what you are reflecting on...I was reminded of some words that I actually read this afternoon (see it here - They are from an article about the artist ROUAULT (you need to do an image search of his art - very powerful)