Sunday, July 18, 2010


I suppose this could sound vain, but I like to see my own reflection in my children's eyes. It reminds me, time and again, how they will reflect what they see. As much of Jesus as my children see in me, I will see reflected in them.

I had a traumatic animal incident today which I won't expand on, but yes, it involved a car. When I was talking to my sister about it she said, "Oh just like the birds!" Now, I hate to be reminded of the birds. But I told her, quite honestly that I think about those birds often. In a sense, those birds affected my parenting profoundly.

When I was about 10 I found a nest of baby birds that had fallen out of a tree. There were probably only 5 of them but they were running around so fast, so terrified, it looked like there were three times as many. I saw them from a distance and my heart yearned to help them. I would pick them up, put them back in the nest, put the nest in the tree, and spend the rest of my days bringing worms, if need be. I was full of compassion for those birds. I ran to the broken nest and tried to grab the first one. Before I realized what was happening, one had darted under my up-raised foot and when I put it back down, I stepped on the bird. I killed it. Anguish. I backed away. Number 2, gone. I couldn't see anything at this point because I was crying so hard. But I'm pretty sure I stepped on most of those babies.

When I brought my beautiful little girl home from the hospital ten years ago I remembered how fragile life really is. How easy it would be for the best intentions to turn into tragic mistakes. How easy it is to step ignorantly and crush. How compassion can somehow be twisted into pain-infliction. I still ache over those little birds and I cannot fathom the intensity of an ache over a child. So I try to step lightly and to look closely and I realize that only Jesus can truly rescue, but He lets us help. Isn't that just like Him?

This last week has been very busy and emotionally charged. On Saturday morning I went to the pool to register the kids for swim lessons. Our house guests kept the older kids so I just had Posy. So little and lithe, holding my hand and talking about her lavender dress. We waited in line for about 15 minutes, she stood patiently at my side as I brooded over my troubles. Suddenly I realized it had been days since I had been close enough to see myself in her eyes. I had been so enwrapped in my own pain I had withdrawn from her. I knelt down and looked at her, looked deep and long. Her smile spread across her face and she spoke three words that took my breath away, "I missed you."

I have to be so careful with the fragile things in this life. The trusts, the relationships, the children, the feelings. And maybe stepping in haste is not really much different than not stepping at all. We can wound with silence as well as with words. So I will walk with caution, but I will walk, and I pray that I will never forget to look.....deep and long.


  1. And knowing, dear friend of my heart, that Jesus looks into your eyes and sees Himself...His nature flowing through you.

  2. Oh, Anne, I prayed for you after we talked by our cars in the church parking lot... and then today I told my mother what had happened and she got very wide eyes as she told me she was the one who had made that comment to you in church!
    She felt so bad!
    Anyway, now you know the rest of the story.

  3. Well, my mom grew up on a farm! :->



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