Loving Is Not Fixing

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My wife is a Birth Doula. In her work she often has to bite her tongue. It’s a part of her job to make sure parents have all the information they need in order to make a decision. Her job is not to make sure they make the “right” one. That’s hard. It’s something I think about every time we talk about her work, and it’s also uncovering some difficult aspects of my own.

It seems that Joshua Station is filled with stories that include myself and other staff people having to let go of control and simply love our folks well. Recently a young lady from our youth program was forced to make the decision to move out of her home to live with another family member.

I have been struck by the difficulty of loving her well through it all. Loving her well, I am finding, doesn’t mean fixing things. The raw truth is that this cannot be fixed.  That’s really hard for me. I am the guy that wants to make sure that she never has to deal with this pain ever again. But still the pain returns. I want to make sure that everyone in her life makes only the healthiest choices for her, but then they don’t. It’s as if God is using a crowbar to pry my fingers away from the whole situation—asking me to take a step back and realize that this one’s out of my control.

Loving is not fixing. But what does it look like to love a 13 year old who has never known stability? If I can’t protect her, what does loving her look like? Today, maybe it looks like a prayer. Maybe tomorrow it will look like a hot chocolate and sincerely asking how she’s doing. Honestly, I don’t really know what it looks like. Love is like that. It’s mysterious and impossible to boil down to a formula. For now I feel like I am simply being invited to hold her story with intentionality. To pray. To grieve. Maybe that’s what love looks like after all.

This post is the most recent 8th & Wyandot reflection. To find it, as well as the entire 8th & Wyandot archive, Click Here.
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2 thoughts on “Loving Is Not Fixing

  1. Ben, thank you for this reminder. I understand. I teach first grader in a high poverty, mobile school. Since the end of August, I’ve gotten three new students and four have moved. One we couldn’t contact for two weeks. I just finished conferences and offered what I could – much of it being emotional and physical support – those who need glasses or hearing tests or breakfast or lunch or more sleep. We have resources but time and time again they are declined. Many reasons I guess – undocumented who don’t want to be found out to those whose pride just won’t let them take the “handout.” I know it’s never because they don’t love their children. ALL of my parents came this year. They, too are broken. We have a lot of work to do with and for the marginalized, especially now. I’m having a pajama day today, this Sunday after a week of ten hour days of conferences and meetings and then making plans for next week when I jump in again. And the heartbreak of this election has beaten me down. Thank you for the work you and your wife do. We do make a difference. Keep up the Love, it’s our hope.
    Lex

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