Saturday, July 23, 2011

That I Would Be Broken Every Day

This day has been full of every kind of goodness. Every bit, every kind.

All day long I've smiled true, from the heart. I've laughed. I may have even winked a time or two.

But tonight, right now, I can't stop crying. And so it seems that what started good has ended even better.

It wasn't always that I'd have seen it this way. There were the headache years, where I pushed back at the tears until they bottle-necked into a headache. I never wanted to be that girl, so I wasn't.

Instead, I was the girl who seethed and griped on the inside, the girl who wanted everyone to think I was so strong. I wasn't all Goth or anything. I still wore pink with abandon. I've never owned a black eyeliner. I wasn't the mean kind of tough, just the scared kind, I guess. (Though I would have never called it that.)

Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing Ann Voskamp speak. For reasons I can't explain, I didn't know she would be here until two days ago, when I arrived. Her words tonight were just as lovely as you would expect. Probably lovelier.

"Open your hand so you can open your heart", she said. "Every moment is a gift." "The Bible is not a book of what we must do but a book of what He has already done." I nodded slow, the nod of the understood. This is what has changed my life, over the past few years. This slow, thick understanding that this - right here, this - is a gift. My pinched-up toes, my flattened hair, the too-loud laughs shared over chicken tenders with pitch-perfect ketchup. All gifts. Oh, if I would only remember.

So, she said, write down three things you're thankful for. Right now.

Here's my list:
Cory Brandon Martin - who has been a picture of grace, to me.
Brown eyes - Calvin, Ruby, Silas, Robert
Blue eyes - Haven Marie

And I lost it then, because the gift of them is so much bigger than what will fit inside. My dreams for them span to Heaven. Know Jesus. Know his love for you. Love him back.

Waiting in line for her to sign my book, I kept tipping my head back a little, so the tears could somehow fall back in. I walked past the little books on the Compassion table - child after child after child, just waiting to be chosen. I thought of our Compassion kids and how much I want to look straight into their brown eyes, how my dreams for them span to Heaven, how I need to tell them that again. There's no time to waste.

I stood at her side and my wit and smiles, they eluded me, so I cried the kind of tears that make a girl drippy in the worst possible way. I could not stop them.

It is grace that points a crowd of adoring "fans" toward a Sam's club table covered in children who need some hope.

It is grace that strips away.

It is grace that opens up to fill.

It is grace that breaks my heart in order to heal it.