Monday, September 13, 2010


A wail resounds from the hallway, gaining volume as it reaches the kitchen.

Little Man runs to me, his left hand held high, fingers stiffly splayed, his mouth open in a now-silent cry.

I scoop and hold and coax a breath, and then we head back down the hall, to find Sister who stands at the end in darkness from closed doors, hands covering her mouth in horror, eyes wide with fear.

I... I... I didn't want him in my room!

I kneel and look closer at Little Man's hand and see a swollen finger, purple ridge like a closed gash above the first knuckle. I gasp and gently rub the indentation and look angrily into her green eyes.

Eliana, I heard you ask him to help push the dress-up basket to your room! And he did. So why didn't you let him in to finish putting it away? He doesn't understand!

In frustration I turn him away from her, curl him into my mama-cocoon, allowing myself the indulgence of being his sole comfort.

I croon and gently flex his fingers and lay my cheek on his tears but hers fall lonely and she stands back, hands outstretched.

I catch anguish in those green eyes.

I... I... I want to be with him!

And though much of me in this moment wants to send her away as more punishment for what she's done, to think about what she's done, to be sorry for what she's done (oh, will this mama ever learn how to show grace?)... I reach out, grasp her hand, and pull her to him.

She crumples into sobs and rubs his back and examines hurt finger and kisses it, washing with her tears. He breathes deep shudders and thrusts the thumb on his good hand into his mouth, blue eyes wide and tears shimmering over the surface like dew on a violet.

Nonny, he murmurs. Nonny. Sorry.

And I don't know why I thought separation would bring healing.

How can he know she is sorry if he can't see her eyes? How can she know he forgives if she can't see his?

We are healed now, we three, and we wipe cheeks and tuck damp hair behind ears and give tiny fingers another tender kiss, and sing a comfort song so Little Man will forget.

Hear my cry, O God,
Attend unto my prayer,
From the ends of the earth,
Will I cry unto You.
And when my heart is overwhelmed,
Lead me to the Rock
That is higher than I...
That is higher than I.

How can we be led if we're so far away, we can't slip our hand into His?

Separation. It was really never meant to be.

Draw near.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

14 fellow travelers shared:

Heather said...

very real and touching, thank you for sharing this experience. from one momma to another. :)

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

So thankful for His mercy and grace! :) Wonderful story to reflect on His mercy towards us!

Deidra said...

I'm the big sister, and I have a little sister. Well, now she's big too, but I'm still older. I treated her like that once (OK, maybe more than once). Before I knew about grace. We all need to be near...the hurter and the hurt. We all need grace.

Linda said...

Near - yes Elise. I wonder how it is we think things will be better if we turn away.
This was such a beautiful illustration. Thank you dear heart.

Andrea said...

Elise, you are a wise and thoughful mama for thinking this through during a chaotic time. I loved everything about this post.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

so mostly, you just made me bawl here. this is my two too. and me. you are not the only one learning grace.

thank you.

Michele Williams said...

Beautiful illustration. Thank you for blessing us. said...

Thank you, so poignant.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful learning moment.

(I followed a link from Elizabeth Foss and I'm glad I did).

Emily said...

So beautifully told, Elise! We had a moment like that today, too.

Sarah said...

love this Elise! And love you:)

Heather said...

Simply beautiful. There is something so powerful about making-up and going thru each part of that together...

EEEEMommy said...

Tender and convicting.
Where would we be without God's grace? Oh that I would be more willing to shower it upon my own children as well.

marygems said...

absolutely stunning- thankyou! Mary New Zealand.

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