A Better Burden

I’m on my second cup of coffee and it’s well before 7 a.m.  I’ve woken up at 5 without an alarm for the second morning in a row.  This is unusual.  My stomach flirts with the idea of rejecting the scalding black liquid I keep sending down into it because it wants to be asleep like my teenagers are, but I keep on sipping.

Being awake turns out to be what I need.  Now I can think in straight lines.  The breath of the box fan tethers my brain to the real, though, if I’m honest, the real isn’t strictly better than the dreams.

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The world has lost its mind, like I’m sometimes sure I’m losing mine, and this forces me to ponder Things That Matter. Should I have had another baby, I wonder, now that the kids are stretching toward adulthood like the potted ivy on my side table?  (There is nothing like housing a human in one’s core to realign everything).  But there’s the self-destructing world–that giant live coal that blisters our souls as we walk on it.  There’s us.

And that’s when I realize I’ve been tired for a long, long time.

I reach for my coffee mug, but this time my stomach is not playing around.  I need more than caffeine can offer anyway.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” he says to me, to us.

I fill up my lungs, let the air out slow.  I close my rusted eyes and choose to believe Him again.

(This).

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With Eyes That Can’t Shut

My weekend with my family was exhausting and I woke up this morning feeling as though I’d been running in my sleep.

On Saturday, we attended a protest in a major city about two hours away from ours and we brought our kids with us.  It’s not something I ever thought I’d do–bring my kids along to a gathering that might get a certain kind of “colorful”, that is–but when my husband and I thought it through, it made sense to us to introduce them to our values in this way.  It wasn’t without trepidation that we loaded the car before the sun came up and headed on the highway.

When we arrived at our destination, we noticed that the crowd was huge already, though we’d gotten there early, and it continued to swell before our eyes as the morning went on.  There were hecklers, people who screamed obscenities at us with wide, angry eyes, and the kids looked at us as if to ask, “Is this how it is?”

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And it is, sometimes.

In the end, we heard and saw things we can never unknow, though a part of me wishes we could for the sake of our happiness.  I don’t know how to process heavy things except through words (and sometimes inconvenient tears) so I commend to you these lines.