Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I Think About: When She is Dying

In the middle of my sister's landscaped yard there is a rouge plant growing.  Chaotic, yellow flowers grow off green stems standing this way and that.  It is small now, that mustard weed, but if left to its own devices it will spread and take over the yard.  Soon it will be sprayed and killed.  For now the children regard it as lovely and bees flit about it gently getting nourishment from yellow buds.

I've just finished reading and doing my morning quiet time.  My heart is conflicted.  Hurting.  Tears fill my eyes but won't flow over.  I will control my emotions.  I will be strong.

She will die soon, my mother.  Each day she loses more functions.  She can't walk.  She can't talk.  Eating is nearly impossible.  She remembers little except that she is dying.  She cries when her grandchildren dance around her in laughter.  She will miss so much.  She will be missed so much.

I move about the house in preparation--cleaning floors, washing jam handprints off of windows, scrubbing toilets.  I'm deceived--convinced that if I just keep moving then everything will be okay.  If I don't stop then the reality of what is happening right now won't really hit me.  I'll just keep doing.  If I just keep controlling then I will outlast the brokenness heading my direction.  If I can just keep myself numb I won't feel the pain--from regret--from goodbye--from memories of things that were--from heart break over things that will never be. I am deceived.

This yard is pristine.  The stones around the house are worn, rounded, comfortable. I can cross them barefoot without pain or discomfort.  The lawn is plush and green and beckons small bottoms to sit a while and hunt for fairies during a picnic lunch.

Yet just beyond the property line is a rebel force of weeds fighting to overtake the landscaped oasis.  One small weed has begun its infiltration.  I look at that weed and the ones just beyond.  That is where the bees are.  There is life in those weeds.  I'm sure there is life under the grass, crawling and gnawing in darkness.  But in the light, life is in the weeds.

And yet we kill those weeds.  We dig them and spray them and suck the life out of them because life isn't always pretty.  It isn't tame.  It is chaotic. And we don't like that.  It's not what we want.

It's not what I want.

Control.  Control. Control.

I move in hurried motions--in furious sweeps controlling everything I can.  I make the yard look perfect so no one knows the inside is dirty.  Keep moving doing little jobs so no one recognizes the task I really need to tackle.  I control the situation--a gardener keeping weeds at bay.

But what if this is wrong?  There is life in those weeds. Perhaps what I view as ugly is really beauty being offered to my life ... a simple gift.  Perhaps what I deem chaos is meant to bring me to my knees so I can see the peace and joy in life.  Perhaps that which I seek to kill is meant to give me life.

Hope. Joy. Blessing. Peace. Righteousness. Happiness.

Are these the weeds I kill in my life because they come at me in odd packages?  Do I destroy gifts in my self-righteous anger or stern-set stubbornness? Do I miss them because they aren't what I want, when I want them?

Do I refuse to accept the goodness meant for me because it might change the environment I wish to control?  Because it might change me?

The wind blows and that lone weed sways its straggly arms in the wind--hands raised in praise.  Reaching for the light.  Providing life.

Am I missing something?  I feel as though I am missing everything.

Three children rush outside to play breaking my quiet time with squeals of delight.  Pigtails, dresses, and blond heads bob about.  They rush past the smooth stones.  They ignore the sparkling water in the pool.  They ignore the soft grasses against their bare feet.

They head straight for the weeds beyond--tall and yellow.  They enter chaos with eagerness.  They seek life.  Horned toads.  Butterflies.  Lady bugs.  They seek life and they find it--beyond that manicured lawn.  Beyond borders of control. Beyond green lawns and patio furniture and comfort zones, they find life.

In this sad time those children are filled with awe and joy and wonder because they aren't trying to cultivate a "perfect" life.  They aren't trying to control emotions.  They wander in faith, spirits free, hearts abandoned beyond that which they can control. And they. find. life.

I look back at that lone weed and I can't help but hope she brings her friends and that the wildness of this life will take over my tame heart and restore it anew.

Oh my goodness ... Thank you Shell at Things I Can't Say for letting me Pour My Heart Out EVERY Wednesday!


  1. This was beautifully written Reagan...I know it comes from a hurting heart and I will pray today that you will be able to let go and let God.
    You see His beauty throughout your yard, in the small weed that actually cares for even the bees and provides joy to little faithful hearts...imagine what He can do with you if you just let Him. You are a true blessing to me even though we have never met. May God hold you in His hands today. Let the tears fall, process every second of what is is okay to not be okay dear friend. I am so sorry about your Mom...I cannot imagine. I pray also for peace...hang in there...

  2. Thoughts are with you from one hurting heart to another.

  3. Beautiful, Reagan. I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. My thoughts are with you often every day.

  4. Been thinking of and praying for you often. I can't imagine how hard it is...but am thankful that our Jesus is revealing himself to you and calling you to His side. This was a beautiful picture in your writing.

  5. Oh girl. Your pain came through loud and clear. I'm so sorry. Sending you prayers.

  6. My heart breaks for you. Watching death is ... *sigh* There are just no words. But I will pray for your family.


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