Out of belief comes life and all its attending stories. I have, over the last ten years deliberately chosen to keep some of these stories quieter or even private. Other than a few interviews and the occasional post here and there, I’ve required of myself what I’ve so often hoped for from others — a little reserve, maybe even silence. And so, on the topics of God, People, and Place — interdependent topics I’m very passionate about — I had gone mostly quiet.
There were many strata to the debris on the car floor, but the base level was dirt. This dirt originated from various locations — from the Little League diamond (my brothers), soccer fields (whole family, at the boys’ insistence), and hiking trails (the whole family, at my father’s insistence). Even though soccer felt like a chore to me, there was something I appreciated about the relational politics of the game. Like new seating arrangements, new teams aligned our loyalties in random configurations. There would be at least one athletic kid on both sides, one “delicate flower” — a third of the way into the game, she’d need comforting — and one parent.
Infertility is a story of unrequited love. But God wrote that story. A parent who deeply desires a relationship with His children? Yeah. He gets that. He loves us. He desires to place all of His love squarely upon our heads. He is waiting for us to awaken to the truth, for us to take our first spiritual breath.
Every step merits intentionality and reevaluation. I have learned that a way to assess whether or not I have remained in rhythm while crocheting is to compare the row of stitches I have just finished to the foundational row with which I started. With every turn of the corner, I raise up the work and see if it is still in balance. If it is, I keep going. If it is not, I unravel just a few stitches back and adjust accordingly. This is how a blanket gets made, with ever-present intentionality.
We may ask ourselves, how are we Christ-imprinted? What is God calling us to do and be as we stand awed and fearful before some significantly burning bush? What needs to happen for us to receive some kind of stigmata — some signals that mark us as Christ’s own. Not, perhaps, the bloody wounds in the palms of the hands, but the pure, open, joyful, and contrite heart that God has promised to claim for Himself, to not despise, and to count as more valuable to Him than any human accomplishment and success.