He drives me to church every Sunday morning and I clutch the side of the door and swallow fear. He’s grown used to this little drive, but I can’t and I tell him to pull up closer to the stop sign…not quite so far to the left…are you following too close?
How on earth did my mother ever survive this?
He is growing up too fast and when friends invite him to an end-of-the-school-year party, we all go. He and his brother pack gobs of old homework to throw on the firepit, this the way they say goodbye—watching those bits of last year turn into smoke.
I watch him rub shoulders with the other teens and laugh and goof off and snap limbs to pile on the bonfire. And at night I dream I am disconnected from my body—moving forward without the most grounded parts of me.
I don’t know how to do this thing—this mothering of teens. At times I am seized with a terror that comes from deep inside of me; like the labor pains that brought him forth. And it feels like my womb is crying out and that place where he once lay planted doesn’t know how to let go. How do I say goodbye and hello all once? How do I stand and watch as bits of the last years turn to misty smoke?
On Sunday Pastor reads Isaiah 6. And she talks about fear.
“The king is dead,”she said. “And an unproved son is poised to take the throne. The enemy looms large. And where is Isaiah? Why, he’s in church, of course.”
I feel Isaiah’s terror and I’m all “Woe to me” and I want to hide behind the skirts of this church for a while.
And when she paints the scene with words—the seraphim and the the “holy holy holy” and the train of his robe filling the temple…I wonder if I’ve ever really known God at all.
“The truth is,”Pastor says. “That you and I experience far too little of God—quiet stirrings not thundering spectacles…”
To see the thundering spectacle, does one need to let go of the tight clutch on the door handle?
I look down at my hand, right there in the pew. And I open…and close. Open…and close…I practice holding this life up to Him.
And the next day we go driving for a full two hours.
I’m a morning person and happiest in a place with no walls. Give me a bed of grass and a blanket-sky and I will dream deep in wonder. But a good story takes me to this place too. And a poem? Even better. You can always find me here. Or connect with me on on facebook, twitter, or pinterest.