Sunday, March 2, 2014

"I Would Never Do Anything to Hurt You," and Other Lies

(Originally composed on April 23, 2010, when Jelly Bean was two months old. Edited to share here.)

"I would never do anything to hurt you."

I've said it before. I think maybe I said it a couple weeks ago to Jelly Bean, our infant daughter, in one of the several outpourings of maternal emotion I've been experiencing since she turned our lives upside down two months ago. I didn't mean to lie. Really, I didn't. But today I realized that's exactly what I had done.

You see, she had her first round of vaccinations today. If she weren't still happily oblivious to much of what we call reality, she'd be one confused baby girl. As it is, she has spent 90% of the day since we got home in bed and the remaining 10% in my arms, looking into my eyes and - no other word describes it - whimpering. Thank God for baby Tylenol. Seriously. Or I'd be a basket case.

And while I was holding her, looking into her eyes as she looked into mine, I realized that I can't explain this to her in a way that she'll understand. I mean, I still tried.

"Honey, I know those shots hurt really bad when you got them, and you're probably still very sore. But they are good for you and they'll keep you from getting sick." She just stared; all she knows right now is the hurt. All she knows is that she was laid out on that hospital table, and that lady with the cold hands grabbed her leg, and did something...and after two breathless seconds (because her Mama felt it, too), she cried like she's never cried before. And immediately her mother, the one who had delivered her to this small room for this maltreatment, scooped her up and cried with her.

Some things have happened to me, and maybe to you too, that have hurt. It hurt so badly and happened so quickly and was so unlike anything I had ever experienced that I was shocked into this outraged sadness. I wanted answers. I wanted to understand. And I wanted to understand so that I could see it coming next time, damn it. 

But that's a lie, the belief that it'll hurt less if I worry or strategize. Ask someone. Even when you see it coming, it still hurts like hell.

And when my Father scooped me up and held me close as I raged about the pain, He didn't say anything. Or at least, that's how it seemed. (I wonder...what if He did try to explain, and I couldn't understand?)
He is timeless; I am bound to time.

He is Creator; I am the created.

He holds the universe in his hands; sometimes I can't even make a decent marinara.

So. I tried to explain to my girl what had happened. She whimpered in response, and then nuzzled her face into the crook of my arm as she fell asleep.

     "O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
          Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
          Or in things too difficult for me.
     Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
          Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
          My soul is like a weaned child within me.
     O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever."

          Psalm 131

Oh for faith, to trust Him more.

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