I see no man at her side so I presume she is alone. She looks tired, bone-weary, capable none the less. Can she tell? Does she know she’s doing great?
She seems distracted, like she has her hands full, and my normal response would be to give her space. But what if she doesn’t know? What if she thinks she is doing it all wrong?
Someone should tell her.
“How old is she?” I ask.
“Nine months,” Her tired eyes meet mine.
“How do you feel?” I venture.
“Suicidal?” She nervously laughs.
“Not really.” She adds, eyes darting, uncertain if I was safe enough for that confession.
“It’s so hard, isn’t it?” I offer.
“Very,” she sighs, shoulders dropping in relief.
I continue to ask, she continues to answer, each response less guarded, filling more space than the last. She tells me of the high points, the moments of sheer joy since welcoming her daughter into the world. She tells me her plans and dreams and I feel the weight of responsibility that comes with each word shared.
I lean in to a conversation I could have easily avoided. I could have looked “busy” checking emails on my phone, or turned my head in my husband’s direction to catch earfuls of his conversation with a friend.
But God’s spirit is at work, tuning me in, slowing me down, giving me a desire to see, to hear, to engage the people around me.
It is not always easy. It requires concentration that I often lack. It requires words that I sometimes run out of. It requires love that is not my own.
It is not always easy, but when I listen, it is always worth it.
She lingers close by as we say our goodbyes to the familiar faces at the party we are attending. I turn around and give her a hug, say how nice it is to meet her. She holds up her finger as her baby curls her fist around it and she moves it back and forth, a goodbye wave.
I draw close and say, “Hang in there, you are doing great.” And I hope the words lodge deep. We part ways and I wonder if our paths will cross again.
Days later she comes to my mind and I pray for her… once a stranger, now a friend.
Momma of two
Lover of one,
List maker, and long walk taker
Writer, runner, guitar player…
I love bike rides and back roads
list-making and run-on sentences
early morning coffee and long summer days…
I believe Christ Jesus is Lord
and that there are few messes in life
that cannot be solved with baby wipes and the
Word of God.