Bent in the stillness

I remember tiptoeing past her so as not to disturb as she was bending over the chair, head buried.  Not that she would have heard me in the midst of her deep secret telling.  And I listened as her heart cried out the hidden parts that shook her down to where she was.  Down to her knees where she stayed for a time I could not imagine, and she wouldn't rise until it was all wrung out.  Her eyes and her heart leaving behind parts in that chair where my mother reached out to touch heaven on our behalf.

Time ticks by and I look back at myself, the mother of two children toddling around.  My prayers were quiet whispers of safety made in a comfortable bed because I didn't understand that danger was already lurking around the edges of their souls.  The time for kneeling in front of chairs was not now, and I had all this life before me.

But the thief of souls comes to seek and kill and destroy and it's when a son grows old enough to choose how he will live his life that the fear of battle grabs me.  The war began with his first breath and will rage on until his last, and I see how inadequate I am to fight.  The winner plays for keeps, and the stakes have never been so high when eternity is on the line as reward or punishment.

I'm tempted to worry, and on the hardest days I feel it desperate.  I want control.  I want to make him choose the road less traveled.  I want to turn his back to what the world calls beauty, and walk him into what is pure and holy.  I know it doesn't work that way.  Even in that paradise where sin was just another piece of fruit hanging lovely in a tree, God let them choose.  How His heart must have ached when they questioned his goodness and chose to swallow the filth right down.

Aching hearts are bending low over chairs, as mother's and father's are crying out this desperation of knowing that they are not enough to battle this great war for the souls of their children.  I am there among them.  We, on our own, are these helpless beings searching great for some rescuing hand.  And the wise seek God, the mighty warrior who fights strong on our behalf as we are bent in the stillness of our prayers.


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