Go On Living

“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.” 

“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of.”

There is a track of land for sale down the road. It was mostly scrub pines but it had a low spot with hardwoods. They were cut and piled up to burn and a giant hole was dug in their place. This was six months ago. It has been the wettest season I can remember. It hasn’t rained in three days, but still the ground is soggy. Our creeks are full and noisy. The spill way is running over.

But there is more water standing in pools at our gate than there is in that mud hole down the road. 

The story goes, the owner of the land was told that a pond site would sell the property. So he thought he could make a pond site where there was none. What is a pond, he thought, but a hole in the ground with a drainpipe?

Mankind can do marvelous things, we can stand on the moon, but still we cannot make a straight thing out of a crooked one. 

Farther down the road, there is a place called A Preferred Woman’s Health Care Clinic, and there, with marvelous knowledge, they look inside a human being, a woman. They turn the volume down. The heart is deafening. 

“Is there a baby?” She will ask. They do not show her.

“Yes, but a small one.” 

When she comes outside she says it is a clump of cells and for $400 they can make a wound so terrible she will dread the memory of it. She has been told over and over again until it sounds right, that the body inside her is hers, and because she sees herself as a larger clump of cells and an even more wretched mistake, this thought does not invoke the tenderness she used to have toward the baby doll that was her own. 

Until it does. Sometimes a human being, a woman, is washed clean and given eyes to see— not only what she has, but what she has been given, not only who she is, but what she may become: A straight thing, and whole and healed, but only in time and in the hands of the God who knows us all as only children, whose deep holes and ugly graves he will tend to blossoming, even to make the thoughts of our hearts as his, who said, “I have loved you as the Father has loved me. You must go on living in my love.”

This is my beautiful friend, Grace, and this is her story:

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