years ago, god turned my heart toward my turning eleven nephew C and i became his not quite mom. what started out as for-a-season, i already knew to be always.
allowing for the mourning of what was going to be i chose what was to come. i shed my former life without him piece by piece.
at least most of it.
i gave up just the four of us.
i gave up own rooms and having more.
i gave up natural arm’s length and drew him closer.
i gave up halved mother’s heart to be broken into thirds.
i gave enough. enough to be good. enough to receive receipt of my goodness handed over by friends and family. enough to name it sacrifice.
i gave almost all and made up the difference with i-would-do-it-again (truth).
but i kept something for myself. something C didn’t need from me. something i had long enough that surely god would common law call it mine.
because this boy birthed into my life through the front door with school backpack and hair demanding cut, came to me as christopher. and in the part of my heart that gets put away when company comes, i wanted to make sure that his nickname chris didn’t come too.
because it was mine. 40 years named and i have dressed myself in kris each morning and handed it out like business cards. to those who aren’t over phone or behind desk, it is me.
i thought because of enough, god will not mention more.
but he whispered. then pressed.
i found reasons to not look at hand outstretched for all because i thought it already held my everything handed over. god cannot mean this too. it is all i have left. like memento of ‘life before’, it seemed too mattering to turn over to letting go.
and i set up defenses against boy with closer to growing up life whose same name was becoming everywhere but in my barricaded against home and heart. i have given enough. i have given everything.
and truth loosened the tightest holding on. same name is slipping to floor between god and i.
i cannot take it back.
because this biggest god gave the most so i could receive the most and i want to answer love like that with all.
and behold, a man came up to him, saying, “teacher, what good deed must i do to have eternal life?” and he said to him, “why do you ask me about what is good? there is only one who is good. if you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
he said to him, “which ones?” and jesus said, “you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” the young man said to him, “all these i have kept. what do i still lack?”
jesus said to him, “if you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
matthew 19.16-22 (ESV)