I hear his sobs over my head, that unmistakable sound of grief echoing down the open stairwell to where I sit, intentionally sitting cross-armed far away. He has no idea how my chest seizes with his, measured rising and falling in anguish as held-back tears beg for release in the same pool.
In his red-rimmed eyes, saying sorry, so sorry, should make everything better, stitch together rifts seamlessly so they are mended invisible. Isn't that what this forgiveness I strive to teach all about? Casting our sins into a pool of forgetfulness and remembering them no more?
Were it that simple.
After words pierce and actions destroy, the nature of the human heart exposed, the damage doesn't magically disappear . God's forgiveness, my forgiveness--it doesn't mean no consequences. It never has, not for me anyway.
This is the pain of motherhood, disciplining to show love and affection. This is hard, sending this child born of miracle and overflowing prayers to a few hours of solitude when all I want to do is hold him tightly to me, read a few books together, and listen to him spin stories laced with heavy questions.
I move to the unlit hall, shadows falling heavier with the setting sun as adrenaline plummets. My head rests against the wall. Where did I go wrong?
I look up, weary, to husband ushering twins out doors. "I've never seem him like this before. He's never seen anyone act like this either. Where did this come from?" Husband's answer is simple and matter of fact, no finger pointing here. This is every man and woman's willful heart unrestrained, no teaching required.
I silently hope he's getting sick, that maybe this evening's uncharacteristic tantrum is the result of his feeling poorly and not a reflection of his heart, the one I've been striving with my everything to mold from birth to seek after the One who can transform that heart to love, patience, kindness, and compassion.
Knees pressed against prayer closet's red leather kneeler helps lift some of the burden. But Wyatt is only four and a half. This isn't going to get any easier.
By now, he's not crying anymore, sounds of tinkling Legos and footsteps drifting downstairs to tell me he's building, constructing another zoo or too-tall tower in his solitude. Calm.
Were these mere battles of words or flesh, it would be so much easier. Yet, all are really of the spirit.
In these moments, I see just how insufficient I am to mother this soul loaned to me for the training. What was God thinking? I can do only one thing well, and sometimes not even this: seek the One who is and pray.