Brows furrowed, she looks down.
“But you promise not to make fun of me?”
“Oh honey, we would never make fun of you. We don’t do that in this family.”
“But–you’ve had an easy life your whole life.”
“For me, I was ten years in an orphanages. My life was hard.”
“I know, honey.”
“It’s hard for me to remember,” she stops. But, trying “I never remember Russia, I just only want to think of here, with my family.”
“It’s ok to remember and think about how you felt.”
“I have more feelings here, I feel more things here.”
“Here we ask you about how you feel and talk about it. That is what you do when you love someone. You talk about feelings. It’s good for you.”
“Yeah,” she contemplates, nodding her head.
“Did people ask you about your feelings when you were in Russia?”
“No. No one did. I think I was all alone there.
All the kids were. And sometimes when I think, I think it’s sad…” she starts again, on the edge of a cliff she has tried her best to stay away from. High on the bliss of family, but with growth and care, she can now see more clearly. She teeters on the edge, and we beckon.
And she shared, word by word, from secret places deep in her heart, tears flicked off the edge of her chin. Of loss, so much of it it could fill an ocean, black as it is at night. How could, and why. We have no answers, but allowing the words to flow out, out of the deep night sea, it’s ok. We honor the pain, permitting it to come out, to breathe life into it’s own nostrils, yet separate from her chest, unbinding itself from her.
In our hearts we can’t imagine why, such a perfect child, and broken path. We respond with the softness of loving words, to counter the lies told with truths seeped in, gently.
And she takes a breath, there it was. The tears shine on her cheeks, but fresh ones don’t run their course.
We feel proud of her in our chests. For many years, her heart and depths of her soul treated as a desert, hurts carving deep cracks along the surface as she soothed them herself, “I’m not special.” Carrying the burden of a thousand worries, as a child, patching, distracting, hurting.
In the stillness, we ask her if she wants to give a piece of her pain to God and she agrees, eager at the chance, could it be? As she hold up both hands and closes two eyes so tightly. We pray. And her daddy who loves her so much, prays over her, as he fills the space with truths over her, and gratitude for her, sending a quiet, peaceful shower as cracks, at first spill over, but slowly, become softer and begin to absorb.
And as we talk, she grins. Her smile comes quickly, the sun coming up in the morning when the sleepy world wasn’t quite ready. Yet she was. Faster than any person I know to find hope and peace after sharing that kind of pain.
She buries her face in daddy’s chest, and speaks of a lighter heart, her body a million miles away from those memories, from those times long gone. Lighter, a breathing thing, out and gone. Given away. As she reenters her life, the one meant to be, the place of feelings and care. Where love and safety don’t run out, but spill into old, arid places. As she sings a new song, of fresh, a new life, brimming with potential.
Oh, visit the earth, ask her to join the dance! Deck her out in spring showers, fill the God-River with living water. Paint the wheat fields golden. Creation was made for this! Drench the plowed fields, soak the dirt clods with rainfall as harrow and rake bring her to blossom and fruit. Snow-crown the peaks with splendor, scatter rose petals down your paths, all through the wild meadows, rose petals. Set the hills to dancing, Dress the canyon walls with live sheep, a drape of flax across the valleys. Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!
Psalm 65 / 9-13