Sunday, May 11, 2014

A tale of two mothers

3 days and 30 years ago a little girl was born in Eastern Tennessee. She was born with hope and a promise of earthly opportunities and born into a family of 'enough' and one that loved the Lord and wanted the best for her. She would go on to graduate from a good high school and a great university and get married to an amazing man and one day bear a child. Around that time another little girl was born in a province of DR Congo. She was born to a mother who carried her against the odds. Born in the middle of war, violence and hunger. She was a survivor of utmost proportions. She went on to one day meet a man and bear a child herself. 
The first woman would carry that child full term, and birth a little girl in one of the best labor and delivery hospitals in the south, a 9lb blue eyes beauty with a head of hair, this mother experienced relatively no pain in childbirth, thankful to modern medicine, and went on to bear another child, this time, a boy. She loved her children very much and wanted the best for them, a life of opportunity, hope, adventure, but most of all love.
Back around the world, that other woman bore her child, a girl, one with skin the color of smooth chocolate and lush lips and a cute button nose. In that moment, in that birth, that was at best in a local hospital and even more likely in a shabby home in western Congo. She soon bore another child, this time a boy, with almond shaped brown eyes and soft brown skin. 
These mothers loved their children, they were full of hope and optimism at what their girl and boy's life could hold, maybe a life that would change the future, benefit others, meet a need, solve a problem. This boy and girl, both sets, were destined to be world changers.  They were born on opposite sides of the world to two women raised in completely different ways, but they were all loved. Loved beyond measure, loved without condition, loved with great sacrifice, loved in a way it seems like love enough would will that great things would come from these children. 
One mother today holds all of those four children in her arms; grateful, somber, amazed, feeling inadequate for the gift she has received. The other mother has empty arms today; she did not get roses or handmade flowers from those two beautiful children she birthed- I did. I got her handmade cards and her roses and her hugs. This world in all of its brokenness and beauty has gone through a tragedy and a gift at the same time and they have landed in my arms. 
The weight of this day does not pass from me.  I went to bed and woke up this morning with that woman from western Congo on my heart. I ached for her loss, I thanked God for her sacrifice and the way she loved her children well, and wanted every opportunity for them, just as I did mine. Our hearts are not that different I don't believe. Love just plays out differently some times. Painfully different at times. Beautifully and graciously different at times. Today I ache for the birth mom that gave me my mother's day treasure. I wish loss wasn't the way I came about such a great gift, but that is the heart of our story. Every great story is up against great odds and a great crisis, a battle of epic proportions. Victory in this situation is often vague and ambiguous.  There is no win-win. There is no sweeping the bad under the rug to only look at the good. Like the tapestry-maker knows, the underside is ugly, tattered looking, pieced together, looking like nothing beautiful can come out of this mess, but on top, the master weaver has woven a masterpiece. 
Today I am painfully and heavily aware of the loss that is on the other side of the world, in a poverty stricken area of DR Congo. I am praying especially today for such an amazing, strong Congolese woman that will ever be part of my heart, life and story. 

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