(before watching video, scroll down and pause music player on right-hand side of blog…)

it’s been a bloody kind of week.

you know, the kind that seeps all red onto pillows from little boys’ noses after they’ve hurt themselves on purpose because they don’t want to do something you’ve asked them to.

yes, joey gave himself a nose bleed because i asked him to go with aiden and trent to the dump. and he’s been hurting so very badly lately, and i don’t know how to reach into his heart. the way only a mother can, but i’m afraid that even though his mother wants to take them back at christmas and she’s on medication now, i’m afraid he’ll be hurt even more by the trying.

it’s been one of those gasping kinds of weeks, the kind in which i hold myself together, with cups of coffee and pieces of dark chocolate and mental pats on the back. and lots of scripture.

but there’s no bible verse that can quiet the ache of a little boy’s heart, there’s only a mother’s arms. a mother is a little boy’s gospel.

and i’ve prayed so many days that God would let me be the gospel for these boys and give me the words and the ways and we’ve cocooned here, these past few months, and they’ve grown wings now and they’re ready to fly home. i’m just worried home isn’t ready for them. i’m worried the medication won’t be strong enough for the mental illness which their mother fights.

and i see the sorrow of the world crippling joey. he’s old enough to know that this isn’t right, he’s old enough to know that his daddy hurt his mommy and now his mommy is too hurt to care for her kids and he’s too hurt to hide it anymore.

as i describe on She Reads (where we’re reading through my book):

No matter how many times I tell Joey I love him, no matter how many hugs or gifts I give him, no matter how much time I spend with him, his love tank is not filled. He wonders about his worth. He questions his value. Because in spite of me attempting to fill the place of his mommy right now, nothing ever will. 
Only her hugs will suffice, her telling him that she loves him, her being present in his life again. And until that happens, there will always be a part of him that questions his identity.
I think the same goes for us, who are separated from our heavenly father. No matter how many ways we seek to fill the emptiness, the void, we’ll always wonder at our purpose, our worth, and we’ll never really see the world for what it is—a gift—until we are held by the gift-giver. Until we look into the face of our heavenly father and see his love there, for us. 
We are mentally ill, because of sin which separates us from home. We’re all homesick. And sometimes we don’t know how to deal with the pain and so we cut, or we starve ourselves, or we try to stuff out the pain with food and then we try to absolve ourselves of the guilt by purging. And we’re wrung out and our minds and bodies are suffering rams on the altar of a heartless society. 
But the good news is, we can choose to get better. We can choose to believe we are loved, this side of heaven, and to treat our bodies and minds as such, in faith. It’s all about God reaching down from heaven and saving us in a glorious, bloody, very human way. 

the kind of blood that spills red from noses onto pillows.
(oh friends, join me, in petitioning God on behalf of little joey? … and join me, also, in celebrating a GIGANTIC link-up on December 10th at Prodigal Magazine called Broken Hallelujah, in which we take this sadness, these hurts, this brokenness, and we throng together as a church and we beseech God as a community of sinners? one day only, December 10th, at Prodigal… watch the video above to learn more… i hope you’ll join us there. love you. have a stellar weekend!)