Hey lady. I haven’t written you in awhile, mostly because you just cannot stop communicating at home and by the end of the day, there aren’t any more words. We’ve covered everything, from where duck dads come from to your preference for the blue lion shirt, and although I know I’ll forget many of these highlights, I also know I won’t forget the ones I need to carry with me.
Yesterday you asked me to cut a tag off the inside of your shirt (your current distaste for tags is unmatched), and with the yellow scissors, please, not the black ones, and could I cut it into a triangle so you can hold it during breakfast? I didn’t follow that train of thought completely, but still, moments later, the tag was removed and all was well. And then you retreated to your room – silently – only to return carrying an entire fleet of stuffed animals into the kitchen for emergency tag-cutting surgical procedures.
“Sia first,” you say (they’re all named Sia, and I don’t know either). So one by one, we cut tags and released discomforts and saved the lives of the plush. And I asked you how you knew the tags were bothering your friends, and you looked at me – eyes as moons – and said, simply: “My gut knows.”
And Bee, here’s what my gut knows about you: You’re fierce, charming, unassuming. Our best days are spent people-watching, at the grocery store or a summer festival or the playground, soaking in your environment and love-casing, just as you used to as a baby. You’re making sense of the world around you, quietly, until you see something that isn’t quite right. And when you notice it, you speak.
I strive to be this way, Bee. There are many injustices in this world, from the streets of Ferguson to the dunes of Gaza. And lately, I’ve been taking strides to love-case the news, searching for good. Looking for light. And when I notice something that isn’t quite right, I want to take a cue from you. I want to speak.
Bee, it’s easy in this world to remain silent. It’s easy to approach a subject with good intentions, unwilling to speak until we know the whole truth or receive all of the facts or sift through each and every news report. But in a world where truth is two-dimensional and woven with power, we’re often left to mend the holes ourselves, through history and perspective and experience.
I don’t know why injustice happens, for what reasons or under which circumstances. But I know it breaks hearts and strangles spirits. And I know the casualties are many. And I know – even more so – that we’re meant for more. “My gut knows.”
Becoming your mother has created a fire in me, Bee, to speak to what I see. To listen and nod and read and think, and then… to speak.
I know I cannot restore the injustices in this world. I know I don’t have the power or the capability or the persistence to change the story. But as a believer in God, I believe He can. And I know what it looks like. And I know it happens daily, in homes and businesses and war zones and court rooms and schools. “My gut knows.”
I believe then, it is our job to encourage. To speak the truths that we know, to come alongside the battered and broken and bruised and offer what we know to be of use, whether it’s a three-generation lasagna recipe or a slew of dusty kneed prayers or a tear-stained shoulder or an open hand.
There are many people who will see this as an empty, optimistic view. And without faith, it sure looks that way. But faith is something you have in spades, dear Bee. You are a watcher and a thinker and a love-caser, and you’ve been gifted with a built-in supply of faith. Your gut knows.
I’ve got another name for your gut, Bee, and we both know what that is. May your gut speak loudly, always, and your faith never remain silent.