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Showing posts from March, 2019

Comstock Chronicles: The Beach and the Hills

The children were in good spirits on the walk to school today because they rummaged through a big cardboard box marked "FREE" on the side of the road. They each picked out an armful of items and dumped them into the stroller's storage basket, items that I'm sure someone was equally thrilled to get rid of as I was unenthusiastic about getting it: a stuffed ghost, a felt Frankenstein, cheap red salad tongs, a plastic Dodgers cap, pink mittens too large for any child, and a cookbook that looked like it'd been left outside during the rain.

Lee and Rose danced little jigs on the walk to school and talked about how much they liked rummaging through boxes marked "FREE" on the side of the road. They had thoroughly exhausted the subject when they asked me if I shared in their joy, and I replied truthfully in the affirmative because their joy had infected me. There's nothing quite like seeing my children full of glee even if I must secretly make their stuff di…

How to Have Perfect Motives

I’ve known for awhile now that my love for my children isn’t up to snuff. I know because when they ask me to spend time with them, I cringe . . . unless of course it’s doing something that I like, like puzzles or organizing or working in the garden. But reading another Fancy Nancy book: no, thank you! Pretending we’re squirrels, please don’t make me.

I know my love isn’t what it should be because when they behave well, I like them, but when they act like hooligans, I don’t. My attitude towards them is so often based on their good behavior and whether or not I had enough sleep and how soon my husband got home and if I’m feeling well and . . .
I know my love isn’t good enough because I’m constantly annoyed with their messes and constantly resentful at how they prevent me from doing what I want.
I told this to a Catholic friend of mine. She replied, “But you’re a great mom! You do all sorts of things for your kids. And you’d do anything for them. Right? Don’t be so hard on yourself. No one’…

Gorillas at a Cocktail Party

We are like gorillas fresh from the jungle, attending a conference on how to be human. And we’ve dressed ourselves in tuxedoes and gowns, bejeweled necklaces and polished shoes. We’ve powdered our noses, and pulled top hats down over our bulging foreheads. We think we’ve fooled each other despite our black fingernails and the tufts of black hair matted beneath our nylons.
Here we are standing on our hind legs and acting like this is a cocktail party. We’ve stemware gripped with our opposable thumbs, and we drift slowly across the room to hide our bow-legged gait. While we wait for the conference to begin, we are discussing what it means to be human and we are discussing it intensely because we feverishly wish to be human. And more than that, we want others to think we are human.
Then in through the double doors bursts one of our kind with the jungle rain on his brow, but he’s not dressed, and he’s bawling and hooting. We stare as he beats his chest and cries, “I’m a gorilla! God help me…

Fruit and Sheep

What if the fruit of his labor
wasn't cabbages or pears?
What if the fruit of his labor
was his striving and wishing
to be good enough
to appease the angry God—
for God to say, "With you I'm satisfied."

What if God's disregard for Cain's sacrifice
was God saying, "I cannot delight in anything you do"?

And Cain felt it
as I do everyday.
The pressing in of inadequacy.
The wondering if my sacrifices are good enough.
And the fear that they are not.

And what if the lamb of Abel's flock
wasn't the right choice of profession
or a symbol of obedience or godly living?
What if the lamb of his flock
was an admittance that no fruit of his labors
could appease the displeased God.
Nothing but a lamb's blood, the lamb's blood,
would lift God's face towards him.

And I with that blood spread across my doorposts
am then with Abel a delight.