A Mother’s Fear Equals Her Love

A few days ago a beautiful little girl, only five years old, was tragically shot and killed in a home invasion in the Charleston area.  I’m certain my heart is one of many grieving this innocent child’s loss and I didn’t even have the privilege of knowing her.  Little Allison is surely in heaven and her family is amazingly enough bearing no hatred and anger towards her killers, yet this is a parent’s worst fear and nightmare come true. 

 May God surround them with His Love and comfort and help them through the days of grief ahead.  Prior to the news coverage of this event I had been told by friends to read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.  In the midst of heartache widespread in our community the day after she died, I did get the book and read it cover to cover thinking of this beautiful child.  If you haven’t read it, do so!  Life is too hard sometimes and my only hope is in Jesus Christ.  I have questions as many must and I feel angry that such evil can have its way in this world but I trust in God that while I don’t know the answers He does.

 Many years ago, after my first son was born and my mind was gripped by various fears for his safety and the  immense responsiblity I felt for guiding and protecting him, I wrote this prose poem:

A Mother’s Fear Equals Her Love

A mother fears for her child with an intensity that equals her love.  She fears the unknown and the unlikely.  She fears the pain of rejection he will feel.  She fears the physical pain that could befall him.  She fears the harm that could come from others.  She knows for him to grow he must feel pain but…his hurt is her own.  Her instincts are to protect her child, innocent, defenseless in the face of danger, from a world that can be cruel.  She lets him grow his way, independent and free, while struggling with her urge to draw him to her, safe from the dangers he might encounter.

She loves him and fights her fear.  She feeds him, bathes him, and holds him through sleepless nights of illness.  She plays silly games and sings sweet lullabys.  She reads countless stories and fixes broken toys.  She respects his desire to do for himself, even if it means taking longer to get done.  She praises his successes and eases his frustrations if he fails with her encouraging words.  She treasures the brief moments when he needs her hugs and kisses.  Her desire for him to grow healthy and happy, on his own, is as strong as her need to hold him close to her, where she is certain of his safety.

The bond that connects them as one began in the cushion of her womb, where the babe is encircled in a haven of security and love.  Birth marks the beginning of separation, the child learning to be apart from his mother.  With each milestone, symbolic of first success, the mother rejoices at her child’s incredible ability.  Yet deep within her amidst her joy is sorrow…that his triumph means letting go.  She knows the miraculous process of life is for her to guide and prepare her child to be strong and confident.  Still, there is sorrow that this precious baby, who once needed her for his survival, will one day need her no more.

I don’t know by what mercies we were spared the tragedy Allison’s family now faces but I know that what happened to them can only be lived through with faith.  They have to let go of their precious baby far too soon and I pray they have faith to lean on and love to comfort them.  May God bless Allison and her family.  Lord, have mercy…


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