Mother and Child, Watercolor, by E. Wierenga (
(Guest post by Tara Pohlkotte

The flu is making its way around our house this week
leaving tired bodies, instant needs, 
and a weary mama leaning on door jams to regain strength when the next round begins.  

I scoop growing limbs and press them to me, 
so helpless to do more than offer my body for them as a respite,
to hold their growing hands in mine, and pray there was a way to take away what they now endure.

And at this time of Advent,   
it made me conjure up visions of a six-year-old Jesus, two teeth missing, beaming at his mom.

Mary must have wondered looking into his face,

“There’s got to be more to this. This child is not strong enough to carry the world.”

We get the God perspective when we read Mary’s story. 
We know each time we read what contribution she makes,
what contribution He makes.

But staring at her son,
knobby knees, 
tripping over his feet as he races off to play with his siblings –

She must have felt let down. Wondered out loud:

“I thought he was destined for more.”

Mary did not get daily reassurance 
that what had happened to her was valid and fruitful,
or would produce what was foretold.

Each day as Jesus ate her out of food,
as his neck thickened and his shoulders widened with the effort of his father’s trade,

did not her mother’s soul cry for the injustice that for her son,

she had been promised more.

Her soul knew he was more than
calloused hands
dusty beard
steady gate

She had borne the disownment in town.
The utter abandon of the life she had planned
and the wild seeking eyes of Joseph when he learned her news.

She carried through that night on the blood soaked hay
because the angel had told her

He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High.”

it seemed it was only his mamas heart he touched as he squeezed her hand in thanks,
when in excitement he scooped her up fully in his becoming-man embrace.

Yet, when she looked in his eyes, she knew.
From the moment of his conception she was steadfast in her devotion.

Did this not anger her all the more?

And as the years passed, and she heard tell of him becoming the man she knew him to be,

Did she not crumble as she then stood below his broken body?

As she watched vinegar pass to those lips
that used to seek nourishment at her breast?

That head, now adorned with bloodied thorns
that she once cradled in her lap.

Did not her inner soul rebel against her maker?

That deceitful messenger
that promised redemption,
a savior of men.

Where were those wise men
and their gifts of gold?

Where was the star that shone so bright
and brought those shepherds to their knees?

The skies now darkened
while his broken cry rang out

and he lifted his eyes to heaven, 

She waited.

Unable to do anything 
but become the temple floor as the curtain tore around her.


As you might know, I have pledged to help raise support for FINDINGbalance this month. Fb is a Christian non-profit that helps people eat well and live free from eating and body image issues. I have personally benefited from the work of Fb over the years and am committed this month to help give back.

I need your help to meet my goal.

I have pledged to raise $1000 this month and if I’m able to raise this amount, it will not only be a huge blessing to Fb, but I will also receive a scholarship to their Hungry for Hope conference next May here in Nashville, which would be a huge blessing to me personally.

Will you consider giving $15, $25, $50 or any other amount of your choice TODAY to help me meet my goal?

You can do it in just a few clicks HERE

Thank you so much for your consideration.


every wednesday and thursday, we gather together to celebrate redemption. here are the details:

1. link up a post (old or new) that you feel is ‘broken’ or ‘imperfect’ or somehow redemptive
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post, so others can find their way back here (see button code in right-hand column of my blog)
3. read other’s prose, and encourage them!

so won’t you join us, as we “walk each other home”? (ram dass)

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