Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stars and Dust

{In remembrance of Japan}

Somehow during the course of our OPT (Operation Potty Training), we came to call Operation Number Two -- "making a moon."

Don't ask.

For the sake of his dignity, I must be brief. Let's just say that it has been a scary process for him. During one of our coaching sessions, I told him again the story of David and Goliath, with emphasis on how God helped David to be so very brave.

After a full day of struggle, he was finally able to go. With tears still in his eyes and a big sigh of relief, he exclaimed: "Woohooo! Emeth made a moon! Just like David made a moon!"

"Um... yes, darling, David did make moons...
And he also killed Goliath, and saved his nation, and...." (but I guess that's not important)

As far as Emeth was concerned, Goliath and the entire Philistine army?
Not so scary.
David was brave for other, more important things.

He is teaching me about compassion these days, this little guy of mine.

Emeth loves to invite daddy to hide with him. Sometimes this requires daddy to crawl into low, narrow, confined spaces. Like the (very compacted) closet. Or under the dining room table. Or cardboard boxes.

The reason he asks daddy is because mommy usually refuses to subject herself to that kind of torture. Daddy, on the other hand, would kindly oblige. Always. (Well, he would at least give it a try.)

Let me tell you, it takes work for a grown man to fit into these small places.


Compassion requires me to crawl under the table and see the world from here. Compassion is so much more than this, yes, but it begins by sitting with him.

This is the one thing that keeps me sane.

To have compassion, as I'm slowly learning,
is to sit on the potty with him (metaphorically speaking),
to acknowledge that this is a painful and terrifying thing.
to relive fears I would rather not remember,
and live the fears that I would rather not imagine.

Compassion takes work.
Some days, it is hard work.

When I think of
a wife holding her dying husband,
mothers of young children without shelter,
pregnant women and nursing mothers without water,
orphans,
I just want to crawl away.
Please let me not be in small, confined places;
I don't want to imagine painful and terrifying things.

A woman cries at the remaining steps of her home in Watari, Miyagi prefecture.
Lord, 
Teach me to be compassionate
as you first had compassion on me.
You confine yourself in a mother's womb,
a small, narrow space for the Maker of Stars. 
You became dust, for dust's sake,
a lowly thing for the King of Glory.
Teach me to sit. Teach me to pray.

4 comments:

E! said...

and to let someone sit awhile in your moonmakings too.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japan-quake-polite-20110313,0,4238012.story?track=rss

serene555 said...

Thank you for sharing this. The orphan post made me choke up... but it's good to have that perspective in mind for times in the future when persistent cries may graze a little more than usual

The Opera Diva said...

Hi Jie! Love this post. Thank you!

Seda said...

Esther -- I enjoyed the article. However, I keep thinking perhaps we are all trying too hard to seek for something lovely in such a grim state of things? Perhaps the effort is not completely futile.

Serene -- Every now and then, I would visit that page just to look at their little faces, weep a little, and then proceed to cover my own boys with kisses and hugs and be so very grateful that I have them to cherish and to hold. *sigh*

Szeling -- Thanksi. =) and I got your vmail! love you.