Claire has been having nightmares for a few weeks. She wakes up screaming and runs out of her room. She crumples in a puddle outside my door where I meet her, scoop her up, and soothe her. I rock her in my arms and tell her shes safe. Over and over again I tell her she is safe and she believes me. I put her back into bed rubbing her hair and singing her favorite Christy Knockel’s song, “with my roots deep in you i’ll be the branch that bears the fruit and though i’m small i’ll still be standing in the storm, its all for your splendor Lord.”
We have a ritual where if we are in a situation she is unsure of she turns to me and says “mommy keeps me safe?” and I smile and say “that’s my job baby, you’re always safe with me.” But what if I couldn’t? What if America was living in the same terror as the countries around us imprisoned by ISIS and I couldn’t tell her I could keep her safe because girls her age are being taken and sold for unspeakable purposes? What if when here big hazel eyes looked up at me in terror I couldn’t do anything but watch? I’ll tell you what I would do, whatever necessary, even to my own death to protect her little life.
But it isn’t our kids, is it? I sit on the other side of screens and hear about the terror and anguish and then I turn it off hug my babies a little tighter and thank God I live in the US. I don’t want to anymore though. I don’t want to numb out to all America has to offer so that I can ignore the cries of mothers around the world who can’t keep their babies safe. If God is truly near to the brokenhearted then isn’t the closest way to pursue his heart to be near to them as well. I wonder if on the days my heart feel so far from God is because I’ve so distanced myself from his hurting children.
Right now donating funds seem like the only way to help even though it seems so nominal. I am still praying about what else can be done (and am open to suggestions). The bible says that faith without deeds is dead and sometimes I feel paralyzed by the idea that i’m missing the real thing, that my faith doesn’t need to be written out but worked out.
I always have parents ask me how to get their kids outside their bubble, how do you get a teenager to see that the perfect prom dress isn’t quite the chart topping news they think it is. I think we do it the same way we remind ourselves that our world isn’t the only world. We collide it with the big picture, we tell a story bigger than picket fences and perfect Christmas cards (not that any of those things are bad), we step outside the comfortable and embrace the messy painful part of life. We hurt with others even if their pain doesn’t come close to our world.
I got some disappointing writing news recently in the midst of what I hopped was book number two and I started to feel really bad for little old me. I started to wonder what was the point of my writing and a very clear voice said, “well not you.” I pray it never is. So I wonder if I am the only one feeling completely tired of hearing about the hurting but not helping the hurting. Am I the only one tired of Christian platforms instead of Christians in action? Will you pray with me about what we can do…. and then do it.
Here are a few ways to help, bottom of Ann’s blog explains more.
Lisa - Hi Tindell,
I just read your post on Ann Voskamp’s blog and was so encouraged. I also live in Marietta and was wondering if there are any churches you recommend in the area. Thanks for writing about the realities of being a mother of young children!
Tindell Baldwin - Lisa,
We go to North Point Community Church and love it! Hope that helps!