Monday, May 11, 2015

The boy who called me mama

The hallways were stripped bare and I heard every flip of my flops and the nearly silent swish of my long, navy maxi skirt. My hair was pulled up and braided to avoid lice, my stomach trying to hold onto breakfast. The lights in the room were yellowed and cast a strange brightness to all of the chipped tiles on the walls.

I stepped through the threshold and saw a small children's couch on my right side and noticed how few children were in this room. They scooted, crawled, demanded to be scooped into my arms. As my knees found the floor the very air seemed rife with knowing. The word "mama" escaped the lips of a small child. "Mama." Before recognizing the moment and closing the doors to my soul, I scooped him up into my arms and breathed him into my memory. I willed the tears not to fall. "Mama."

My heart would have spilled over into a prayer if my lips had cooperated. I remembered just enough not to tell him I loved him. It would cheapen those words. I could not be the one to love him and I knew that. The reason was standing in the doorway. I had chosen the other boy in the room over a year before to be my son. I was here for him and only him. My heart choked on the truth that this one was not mine, and wouldn't become mine.  I had not earned the right to tell him I loved him. I had not fought for him, committed to him. And as much as I wanted to stay in that moment forever, I knew the future. He called me mama, but he was not mine. But I told him that my Jesus did. And my heart soared to Christ in that moment, begging Him to stay with this boy, to be His healer in all ways.

And I kissed his extra sixth finger on each hand and my stomach betrayed me knowing my lips had kissed the reason for his abandonment. Such a small thing, extra fingers and such a huge, irreversible tragedy caused by two tiny fingers. I kissed them one more time.
"God. In. Heaven."
"Now, now, come back to us. Let this end. Let this not be true. Let this world not be so cruel, so tragically wrought with evil." My heart was spitting it forth in sputtered breaths. And as I put him down and held my chosen one's hand and tore my skirt from his grasp with my other hand, I cursed my long skirt for having so much to grab. My hand sneaked down and pushed his six fingers off and behind me as I walked down that gray hallway I heard the echoes of a lost soul, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

Seven hundred and ninety days ago I chose one and left another one behind, one who called me mama.
God. In. Heaven.
Forgive us all.
We know better.

There are moments in time that our souls fail to remove from the over crowded memories in our minds. They are moments that change us indefinitely. They find their way into our life decisions. They make us remember that the smartphones are not what really matters. They are what make us question our very existence, the purpose of why we breathe.

Why do we worry over dinner plans? Why do we research phones? Why do we need bigger homes? Why do we exist if not to ease the burdens of other people? Why does God allow us to breathe while turning our backs on children who need us? Why do we worship in song and not in life?

The little boy who called me mama was one such moment in the memory of my heart.
And I am sorry, Little One. I am so sorry.

1 comment:

  1. The second to the last paragraph has me wiping tears.