If you have a wayward child, others know your pain. A time comes when heartsick parents must releases their grasp and leave a beloved child to God. Listen to a mother’s broken heart and sense just a bit of how God feels when those whom He has lovingly created turn from Him.
She was such an odd child! True, she was child of my body and even more so, child of my heart, but I just didn’t know what to do with her. Every morning, I would sing her awake, looking at her face with joy and pride. But, she would not return my delight. As soon as her eyes opened to the day, they were set on other things.
“Good morning,” she would chime to her small room. “Good morning,” she would add to her colorful rock collection. Such a sweet face and smile, but it was never turned toward me.
When she was very young, Zoe was always in my arms. We would walk together cheek to cheek and laugh at the wind. She loved my voice and knew it better than anything on earth. How I adored her every waking and sleeping moment.
But now, oh, I cannot describe the pain of her loss. Day in and day out, I do everything for her. She has nothing that didn’t come from my hand. But, her love now is not for me, but for anything and everything I gave her.
As I reach toward her, she reaches toward a stone or a doll. I remember the day we found that golden agate on the shore a mile from home. The sun was high in the sky and lit up that little lone jewel until it looked like a single flame upon the sand. I turned her face toward it. Before she could move, her mouth dropped open in silent awe. It was stunning how something so dead could appear so alive, so full of energy, and warmth.
Now, that golden gift sits by her bed. She keeps it close and protects it even from me. She never thanks me.
Zoe’s doll is made of glass. It belonged to me once. But, in love, I gave it up to her. And, mind you, she loves it. She dresses it, feeds it, talks to it, and keeps it ever near. But, she never wants me to play with her and screams when I come near.
So much time has passed now. I’m still there for her, but she doesn’t even see me. She doesn’t hear me. She doesn’t know me.
If she did, she would know love. If she did, she wouldn’t be so lonely, crying herself to sleep at night with a stone and doll’s hand in hers.
I have seen Zoe move from joy to greed, from free to fury. She isn’t the child she once was. Now grown, she is a smaller human being than when her heart was enlarged in my presence. Her hands are on everything, but she has lost hold of all that matters.
When will she come home? When will she know these things she loves came from me? They cannot love her back. No, only I can love her the way she needs, and my arms are open wide.
My open arms are not greedy, even for her, but giving. So, if she rejects me forever, I will leave her to herself and her empty affections.