anne lamott writes of a man who once stood outside the white house, holding a candle every night, for weeks on end, during the vietnam war.
a reporter finally asked him, “do you really think you’ll change the world by holding a candle?” to which this man replied, “i’m not trying to change the world. i’m trying to keep it from changing me.”
i’m holding my children like this man held his candle.
and when the wind blows, i cup my hand around them to shelter them. because fire cannot be controlled, only contained. like our children’s spirits.
and when i look into my babies’ eyes i see everything i want to be and i see everything the world isn’t. i see the way i want them to know they are loved more than any amount of romance can tell them. i see the way the sun makes gold dance in their irises like fish. the way i want to dive in there and swim around for awhile.
i see the purest of people who haven’t learned reserve yet. who haven’t learned embarrassment or inhibition. and i want to become their disciple.
one of aiden’s favorite things to do is to put on his robe after bath-time, and he looks like a little holy man walking around in his hooded flannel get-up.
every night, he asks me to count for him while he jumps from the couch in his robe. and right after he jumps, he looks at me, to see if i’m watching, and then if he sees that i am, he laughs.
it isn’t the jump that matters, it’s my response. and i wonder if it isn’t the books i write or the art i create, it’s the way God is looking.
it’s hard to believe i am any good at all when my children’s faces are bruised. when kasher falls and hurts his eye, and when aiden trips down the stairs.
it’s hard to believe God would still want to use me, but every morning, when my children wake, it’s as though new skin has grown across their faces and no matter how badly i’ve messed up, they brighten when they see me.
my candles in the wind.
(i know, i know… i wasn’t supposed to be blogging this week… but i can’t help it. i love you guys too much, and i have all of these words burning. but now, to sign off and play some cards with my husband in our hotel room. bless you.)
*linking with jen, michelle and laura