To carry is to do something beautiful and intentional. We carry ourselves in a certain way, hung on a certain frame, approaching each new moment and face and place from a certain point, with a certain deposit of grace. We carry the ones we love through seasons of pain – in hugs and in hands held, in flowers and in shabby rooms, we carry the lost job, the dead-end job, the insult, the bully, the sickness and the remedy that is some days, sometimes, somehow worse. We bear the loneliness that haunts us, the insecurity that hunts us down, the angry critic, the questions, the regret. We carry the burdens we have been given like grocery bags and backpacks and briefcases. We bear the bodies and brains that are ours. We carry ourselves, buoyed up by salty tears; we carry one another with grace, fumbling and earnest and enough.
It is a particular wonder the way a mother carries her child. It shines like the silver moon behind the clouds – the physical space of mine becomes ours, becomes yours; the heart beats for the sake of the tiniest heart beating, the body breaks and loosens to make room for the tiniest body, the spirit rejoices and groans for the spirit of the one inside, so near, so loved, so long-awaited.
To miss is to long for something, to desire someone with all of your physicality to be near to you again, as they once were. To miss is to acknowledge creatureliness and limit, darkness and fall, unknowable mystery and heartbreak and the tiniest glimmer of hope in a dull, daylit afternoon. To miss is to cry out against the things that do not work as they were intended, to proclaim weeping and with clenched jaw, with furrowed brow, fists and a body sometimes limp and sometimes taut with pain that those who were once close by, walking in the garden in the cool of the day, face to face, hand in hand, have been separated. We have been withheld from the ones we love, and these ones have been taken, slipped away like a dream.
To miscarry a child is not to make a mistake, as we might misunderstand a comment, or mismanage a situation. To carry a child in this way is to offer your self, your very body and blood, with all the courage of hope for the all the wilds of new life. To carry a child in this way is to stand in the garden as you hear the Lord Jesus speak your name. And new life comes.
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