“And love is not a victory march / It’s a cold and a broken hallelujah.” ~Jeff Buckley
And it’s that broken hallelujah that fills my soul with shivers.
It’s the sacrifices that my Jesus made for me and the sacrifices we make out of love that touch an eternal cord, ringing true of what is beauty and what is broken and what will be made whole.
Rocking Abby back and forth before bedtime recently, her mouth pressed closed to my heart, my face bending toward her tousled long hair, I heard her whisper her broken hallelujah. “When the baby arrives, he will need a toy, Mama,” she explained. “He will need a bear. I will give him MY Bear.”
Oh, Baby Girl…My Sweetest Abby, all I could do was hold her tighter. Grip her innocence and her sacrifice. Marvel at a heart so pure that she would give up her most precious possession to a brother she has yet to meet. If you know Abby, then you know that “Bear” is never far from her grasp. Bear comforts her. Bear goes with her on adventures. Bear helps her be brave.
And she would give him up for a love unknown.
That’s the love that would change the world.
Now, my two-year-old is far from perfect. Many days we barely survive the sudden tantrums and frustrating demands. But in these tender moments, her faith and hope and trust brings me to tears. I glimpse the Holy in the purity of her dreams and desires. I stand in awe of her wonder. And, I know that broken things are fixed in the presence of such love.
Ann Voskamp recently wrote on her blog “A Holy Experience” that “Sometimes the places where we are stretched thin are the thin places where we catch a greater glimpse of God.”
And in the wee hours of the morning today, I write from a place of being stretched thin. Of wondering how I will mother two children and have anything left to give. Of wondering how I will make it the remaining 4-9 weeks before this next one’s arrival without breaking in the exhaustion and demands both physically and emotionally. Of wondering how I will make a difference for friends and family when I can barely find time to send text messages right now.
I stare down at my body – literally stretched thin – and see a belly separating to allow my Little Lion Baby to grow stronger. I look up and see an expanse of a sky created by a God who allowed himself to be separated from His son and broken for a world’s healing. I wrangle my toddler and see a little girl with the potential to live out a broken hallelujah.
Will she? Will I? Will I strain for a glimpse of the Holy when I am all poured out? Will you? What would our world look like if we lived each day willing to be made into that broken hallelujah? That song nearly too precious to sing, because it turns all of this world’s priorities on their head. If my life is not meant to be a victory march in one sense, perhaps it will be beautiful in my brokenness.
As I acknowledge that my strength is from my Savior who is strong for me. As I acknowledge my imperfections. Repent. Make peace. Give grace. And seek the Holy.