Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Personal Jesus


It’s no surprise, I think, that I can’t get over how much I love that girl of mine. It’s what a momma is supposed to do. What does surprise me, but only a little, and thrills me to no end is how much other people love her. From her very start strangers have come up to me to tell me what a joy she is, and wherever we go she is given little gifts and kindnesses and attention. We didn’t buy any souvenirs in Italy, everyone gave them to her for free. In England, men and women stopped what they were doing to play with her, ask her her name, teach her secret handshakes, give her bits of their love. This is not just a momma speaking. At least not completely. There have been too many people - strangers, friends, family, teenagers on the bus - who have loved this kid of mine so immediately and eagerly to think any differently.

When we left England two days ago, I told one friend how much I appreciated the attention he gave her and how he had made her feel welcomed and a part of the community there. He said, “It’s easy when it’s India.” People kept stopping me on the way out the door to take a picture of her before we left and to tell me they had never met a little girl like her before.

I look at her sometimes and wonder at the woman she will become. She, more so than many other children, has been surrounded by broken adults, broken love, broken unity, and yet, I can’t imagine a child being more surrounded by love than she is. She draws people to herself, unafraid, and engages them. She loves so fearlessly and is loved so effortlessly.

We are a mess, all of us adults in her life, and yet still, smashed, crashed, unhealthy and bruised we love her with all of the bits we have left, and I am only just realizing now, how we’ve got each other’s backs, how we fill in each other’s holes and have come together for the sake of this little person who was born into such chaos and has brought so much healing. For now, at this moment, she is Jesus. She is grace walking around with sticky fingers and a dirty shirt. And she is always stretching out her arms and saying the darndest things, not the least of which is, “I love you this much.”

9 comments:

Cecily said...

Sniffing my nose here. I'm glad everyone loves your India. I'm even gladder that in all your brokenness there is still love to offer. And most gladdest of all, I love that God takes our brokenness and births beauty in it and from it. Sometimes through a little girl who is Jesus to those around. Ah, such deep deep beauty in our messed up world.

Welcome back too... I missed you. :)

Cecily said...

I forgot to say comfort. There is such great great comfort in this too.

Deanna said...

She's becoming the girl in the book, I think. Magical. Very precious, everything you said.
(Still have a hard time seeing your brown blog, but I've decided it's my monitor, and I will keep reading. Couldn't stop if I wanted to!)

Ann said...

Sweet, sweet. I don't know her, but I do know she's a marvel.

Sandy said...

Maybe she is a part of you that's been wanting to blossom and know it can, through her. How precious life can be when we see life through our children's eyes!

What a great post and picture.

Becca said...

India looks so beautiful and so loveable!
This almost brought tears to my eyes, especially now that I have my own amazing daughter.

Angela said...

i missed you too, cecily (and all)! it killed me not to have internet access (i'm such an addict) but maybe good for all the stewing i got done.

deanna, oh! i never thought of her that way (like my book). when i wrote the curious adventures, i wrote how i wanted india's childhood to feel, so that makes me all happy. i'm gonna change my beautiful cinnamon background when i got home today. i really like it, but i like you better!

ann, marvelous indeed! i think she'd have a hoot with you.

sandy, it's so true that once you become a momma you're cracked open and some new person emerges from your old self, and you see life through all that you were but coloured as a momma, hey? what a wonder.

becca, speaking of amazing daughters, i would sure like to meet yours! i think oh, sometime this summer - say mid june to end of july, in a rambling old house in england, maybe? let's go, let's go, let's go!

Alex said...

I wonder how broken the stars are; how the revolving plants are just waiting to knock off the vase...

Cherie said...

Hope shines in the life of little India. Thanks for writing this out. The comments here are equally beautiful.