Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
I feel ... alone. Where is my family, who I need to support me? Where is the unconditional everything that a family offers? Yes, I have friends. Yes, I have support from a lot of people. But the ones I need it from the most? Vanished.
I feel ... strong. I have grown in these days. I am a better me.
I feel ... God. Isn't it usually the times when we are at our lowest point emotionally, spiritually, the times when we can see God? I see him. I hear him. I cry out to him.
I feel ... heartbroken. Wounded. Crushed. How many times do I need to hand these things over to God? And now, I hand him more than my own. I hand him the pain and the broken souls of people that I love. Although I am strong, I am not strong enough for these.
I feel ... tired. Soul-tired.
I feel ... hopeless. When will these people's eyes be opened? How many times do we have to throw it in their faces before they see it? Will they ever see it?
I feel ... I feel ... I feel.
So, because I feel, I am here, not numb. I think maybe I would like to be numb now....
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
walking into your cabin and seeing all the bunkbeds brought back a sickness inside of me... i smiled for your sake, because you were excited... but inside i felt like something was dying.
you didn't want to hug me "good-bye"... you just wanted to get on with all the fun of camp - don't worry, i understand. i never want to put my feelings onto you, to cause your excitement to fade... these are my own demons, and i fight them always.
i wonder if you know how very much i love you - i would kill for you, my oldest son, my joy, my hero. i would die for you.
our family feels a little bit broken with you gone...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
the cord is tied with a bit of hand-spun cotton, and one of the women attending begins to saw against it with a dull knife. when the separation is successful, the squawling infant is lifted up from the dirt and wrapped in a cloth - the same cloth it's mother has used as a skirt, and sometimes as a shawl to ward off an occasional chill in the african night. the cloth has found another use - swaddling the tiny, caremel-colored infant.
when it comes forth, the placenta is whisked away to be buried near the entrance of the family's compound - it's purpose - to ward off evil spirits.
one of the women lowers her mouth to the infant's nose and sucks out the mucous, spits, sucks, and spits, until the breathing is clear.
in the darkness of the hut, the mother and infant lie on a straw mat near a fire that someone has stoked - for more than a week they will be confined to the hut, amidst the constant smoke from the fire, dirt, heat, sweat and darkness.
the smell inside is strong - blood, burning wood, body odor - they all mix together and sting the eyes.
the infant tastes of the mother's milk, tastes the salt of sweat on her skin, tastes the first taste of salt from tears shed. it lies naked against her, warm skin on warm skin in a sweltering place. the heat from outside is just africa as africa is - the heat from the fire is meant to cleanse.
the mother massages the oil from schae nuts into her infant's skin - it glows in the flickering light of the flames.
all the everyday noises and activities from outside are muted in this room. when women come to visit, or bring food for the new mother, they speak in hushed voices. their bare feet make no sound on the dirt floor.
the infant opens it's mouth in a yawn, and someone touches an index finger against it's lips, then the bridge of it's nose, then the forehead where thick, soft, black hair curls damply - they do this special touching to insure that the infant's soul stays within it's body.
on the eighth day, a celebration is held. the whole village attends, drums beating, feet stamping, dirt flying, women singing and clapping in a circle around the mother and infant.
a goat is slaughtered, and it's blood is caught and mixed with water that has boiled in a black cooking pot. village women form an unpenatrable wall around the mother, and she is scrubbed furiously with the blood-water and a course loofa until she gleams.
it's the infant's turn now - an old woman hikes up her brightly-colored cotton wrap-around skirt and sticks her long, thin legs straight out in front of her, her calves forming a cradle on which to lay the naked infant.
it cries lustily as someone scrubs in the same way the mother was, and when the tiny one is held up dripping to the village, everone murmurs their approval.
a witch doctor mutters a blessing over the baby, and then out of nowhere, a grey razor blade is produced. the infant's head is shaved, all the soft, black curls falling to the ground. the hair is collected by the witch doctor to be properly disposed of, in case someone wants to use it in the making of a curse against the New One.
the razor blade is dull, like the knife used in the original separation of baby and mother, and blood blooms in places on the infant's hairless head.
after only eight days of living, the infant has experienced the tears of it's mother, the sting and scratch of pain, the image of slaughter, the smell of blood, the sound of drums and blessings. after only eight days of living, the infant is old.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
each time you gently unentwined your children from you, uncurled the fists that clung to your skirt - each time you held yourself straight up, forcing your mouth to smile as your children walked away from you sobbing - each time you waved until they were out of sight, high in the sky - each time they flew from you, your fragile smile crumbled and your hand shivered to your heart, and you cried so many thousands of tears - you could have jumped into them and had a warm and salty bath...
you suffered too. i cannot protect you from your pain, and i cannot begin to heal you - that job is for Someone greater than all of us, and above all of our injuries. it is a job for the Great Physician.
and that Physician has given me a job, my dearest. it's a huge one, and sometimes i feel it is more than i can bear. i am questing for an answer, for repentance, and for action. i can not stop until it is finished, and i am sad that it might hurt you somehow along the way. i have my own children now, and for their sakes, and for the sake of all little children who are under the Physician's care, i trudge onward with this task.
it is not an easy road that we are told to follow, but there is a promise of Something Amazing at the end of our journey.
my heart is hurting for yours, my dearest. this thing can not remain silenced forever, and when we face it, it is terrifying, and we might even feel like it will kill us - but facing it is the beginning of our Great Healing. facing it is brave. facing it is the only right choice that we can make.
forever and ever love to you, my dearest of ladies...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
suddenly one day, it just popped out - but it was a shell and it was huge! (well, huge for the space it had occupied between my teeth!) it was a lovely ivory color, with swirls of brown decorating it, and the pattern swirled along with the body of the shell. i could only see its color and swirls after i'd wiped all the blood and other gunk off of it.
i took it to a room full of people from the past - i wanted to show my mom. but when i got near her with my shell, it slipped through my fingers and dropped into the sand, and when i looked down, there were thousands of other shells there too.
i became frantic, and fell onto my hands and knees, sifting, searching, scrambling through the sand looking for the shell that had come from my mouth.
i grabbed and inspected ones that seemed similar to my shell, but had a heart-sinking feeling that i would never find my shell.
finally, it was in my hand! i turned to show my mom, while sobbing with relief at finding my shell, and really the relief i felt was showing it to her and telling her where it had come from, because after all, it was a very unusual thing to have stuck between my teeth...
i had the feeling of a child who had been lacking in comfort for too long, needy and almost begging for touch and affirmation... something...
i woke then...
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
it is not something that they are born with.
consider tribes in the world where nakedness is ordinary,
even among adults. they do not walk around shielding themselves
from others' sight. they go about their daily duties without giving
any thought to their nakedness.
i believe that there is no "age of shame". it is beaten into us
from when we are young, because of the culture we live in.
i believe that if i didn't teach my children shame, they would
relish their nakedness and choose it over clothing.
what has our culture done to our innocence? why is our culture
so full of shame? why aren't certain other cultures ashamed to
i believe that we will be naked in heaven, and that we will have
no shame in our nakedness. yes, we'll be "clothed" in light,
but our new and perfect bodies will shine through the light...
Monday, March 9, 2009
i asked jonas to clean his room - it was disgusting, filled with trash and dust and clay mashed into the carpet. he howled and cried and told me "it's not that dirty! it's too hard to clean! i need your help!"
so together we made is room spotless. he stood, looking around and breathed a long sigh. "i feel so much better now, mom" he told me. "from now on, i will not throw trash around my room, and i will clean it every week so that it never gets this bad again."
it reminded me of myself - i was dirty and messy and sinful, and Jesus said, "you need to be clean, bonnie." i howled and cried and told Him, "i'm not that dirty! it's too hard to get clean! i'll need your help!"
so He scrubbed and dusted and cleaned me, and when He was finished, i stood, looked around, and breathed a long sigh. "i feel so much better now," i told Him. "from now on, i will try to stay clean..."
i didn't realize how bad it really was, until it was gone. now i feel emotional peace, soul-peace.
to start a waterfall,
it only takes one sunbeam
to make a rainbow,
it only takes one flower
to make a tree beautiful,
it only takes one kernel
to produce ears of corn,
it only takes one person
to cause change to happen,
so i can be that drop,
that sunbeam, that flower,
that kernel, that person -
to change everything.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"not right now, babe."
"play with me, mommy!"
"i'm busy right now."
"look at me, mommy!"
"i am trying to do my BIBLE STUDY!"
... it is a hard lesson that i have learned. kids, my kids must ALWAYS come first. a bible study, a book, a magazine, cleaning, cooking, all of these things are less important than filling up my dear ones' little hearts. god forgive me for the times that i have put other things first.