“Let’s go on a walk! Get your shoes!” she called out and off we go in a burst of unbridled energy, her heels in the air.
And we walk on the roads bordered by shiny wheat tops and we stay in the “middle….middle, middle, middle”, a song we made up because of country roads, high grass, deep ditches and crawling critters.
We walk a long way.
We’re looking for morning glories.
We spotted one last week.
We caught a butterfly once.
She was tiny then, barely toddling. Her face was a mixture of elation and question. She held that blue edged creature and then we let it go.
Her feet slowed to a pause. “A butterfly!” she spotted and I saw that its bottom wings were torn, sort of shredded.
I picked it up and it sat as if glued to her small finger. Five minutes or more, we talked about it, the broken wing somehow and how I wasn’t sure if it could fly.
Rust colored wings, more moth than butterfly and small, very tiny. It seemed as if my granddaughter was comfort, was safety, was in a way, angelic.
It was mysterious.
It rested, not as if helpless, more assured.
I’ve been thinking about a feeling of vague dread, of inability to put three thoughts together, of being numb to possibility.
When possibility has been so very true for me.
I thought “learned helplessness” and reminded myself of the meaning.
There, that’s it. That’s the feeling, the lack of mental, physical and emotional resources to believe in good again.
Learned helplessness, lulled into a state of whatever I can do or should…
Would it even make a difference?
I wonder if we’re all learning that we’re helpless, that we’re not difference making people after all.
We laid the butterfly down gently and unsure whether it would go to heaven or fly, we told the broken creature goodbye.
Learned helplessness, the two words that made sense to my processing all that’s gone wrong.
The remedy? Recognize it, journal about it, pray, accept what you cannot control.
Therapy, and medication in difficult to treat with self-care because of significant trauma.
This afternoon, I bought apple juice boxes, a book about travel and a flamingo towel for a toddler.
Checked my phone to see notifications on FB and saw “Pray for Texas”, looked further to read the news, the horror, the inconsolable tragic event.
And began to feel sick. Began to think of the innocence of children, the way our world is and has completely set its intention on stealing it.
I can’t adequately add to this conversation. I really can’t.
These are times that words like peace in times of trouble, hope enduring or all things being made new and made sense of by God
Just don’t seem sufficient.
Seem more “who am I to say these things?”
After all, I had a three year old wrap her arms around my neck today and say “It’s a secret, I love you. I love to the moon.” and then say it again, and again.
I felt God near. I felt it was His idea, maybe she saw her grandma feeling slightly broken and held me close.
“I love you.”, not a reply, totally unsolicited.
No words for the Texas tragedy.
I love the Psalms and I treasure the words in red, but just one thought remains.
“pray without ceasing,”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
Pray. It’s “all you can do” and it is everything you can do.