There are times when I’m filled with despair, but this is not one of them. I’m cozied up much closer to Despair’s holy twin, Hope. She perches, whispering strange, small miracles into my right ear while her all too familiar brother digs his talons into my left shoulder. She opens my eyes to the inexplicable and let’s me rest, reminding Despair to ease out his claws and flee.
A few weeks ago I had one such experience. The day was like most others; I had been up nursing, my youngest, most of the night, didn’t get my teeth brushed until after I had feed my toddler, Soren, who had “had an accident” on purpose after nearly fallen down the stairs from stepping on a lego. I tried to lift my spirit by listening to songs that we would be singing later that evening at our Church’s Black History Celebration, but I was still feeling glum. Halfheartedly, I prayed (after swearing like a sailor) that God would use the time of praise to bring my heart back to His. I had also been praying that He would show me that He sees me, because Despair has told me time and time again that I am invisible. Later that day, I arrived to sing my heart out, even though I was feeling no different than I had that morning. As our choir began singing, I sensed God and was overcome. I imagined Him singing over me as I was singing to Him. In that moment I reached my arms up too him and “RIPPPPPP” my favorite black velvet jacket completely tore down the side. Sheesh. Many of my “God moments” are fraught with distraction and my own cynical tendencies. But I digress. Later that night when I went home to hang up my jacket I could swear a voice said, “I will replace that jacket.” I thought I was going a bit nuts…just needed to sleep that off. If that WAS God, why would he care about something so insignificant as my jacket when people are starving around the world (ya-da-ya-da 10 minutes of explaining to myself why that was clearly NOT God’s voice). I slept it off, and thought nothing else about it.
About a week later, I was sitting at my in-laws thinking having tea, and in walks my husband’s sister Margaret. I overflow with love for this woman! Anyway, she floated in wearing the most beautiful velvet jacket, and I gushed at how very “Downton Abby” it looked on her. After giving her a hug I launched into a rather superficial explanation of how much I love her jacket with its amazing green lining…she took it off and handed it to me. It was strange. I thought nothing of it until much later that night, when I climbed the stairs (dodging the still present lego) to hang up my jacket. My ripped one was hanging there with no lining at all, and frayed seams.
It was in that still moment I hear a voice whisper. “I see you.” I burst into tears. I grabbed the jacket, took it to the bedroom and covered my son with it. Hope, Theo, and I drifted off to sleep, While Jake and Soren read quietly.