My head is spinning, my heart is churning, my tears again are falling. And I wonder today if they will ever stop.... We are still waiting for a sentencing date and last night I had the daunting task of helping Gretchen write her impact letter. Ugh! What sorrow, what grief, to have to relive again the horror of her childhood. I cried out for her again last night. Just as I cried out for Vera last week. Today I want to find more words to write, but I am at a loss. So, I am going to insert the letter I wrote to my sweet Vera on a day when the heaviness of loss was a boulder around my neck. Here are my words to her: Sweet Vera, you've been on my mind and heart so much this past week. I've dreamt about you, woke up praying for you with the burden of you so heavy on my chest I swear your name is tatooed there. And then I remember that I've always loved you this way. I am certain I loved you before you were even placed in the womb. I had a connection with you the moment I laid eyes on you that defied explanation. It was a secret I kept deep inside of me for fear others might think I was crazy. And besides you weren't supposed to be "mine", but damn if I didn't feel like you were! Of course, I was only a child then. One day shy of twelve years old, lacking confidence and pushed down so low that I had no voice. OH, but now I do! And if I could reverse the clock the story would unfold so differently. I would be tall and strong, full of faith and rage all at the same time. I would take you up in my arms out of your little incubator and I would run for our lives. I would shout and scream and remove any one who got in the way. I would make sure that all those who did not prepare for your precious life never had the opportunity to cause you such pain. You see, I already knew, even way back then that we would need each other. My Father had already prepared my heart for you and for such a time as this. He imprinted you upon my heart. He wrote your name there to teach me about His love. When I awoke last night with your name on my lips there were tears on the pillow and I asked God why you had to suffer so much. It pained me to the point of not being able to speak as my heart seized within me and I was unable to take a breath. Truly, God opened a window into the ugliness of sin and it's devastation on mankind. I was paralyzed with sadness and overcome by the blackness of all you endured. It caused me to gag and my stomache churned inside me. I know that as much as my heart is broken, it is nothing in comparison to what you have endured, my love. This is what I know, God meddled in my heart last night. Because of my faith, I cried out to God and asked the Holy Spirit to speak for me as all I could manage was a groan. God was allowing me to feel something I can't even put into words. This drives me crazy, of course, because it is one of the best ways I know to express myself. I can't fully comprehend or even express what God did, but I can tell you that I am changed because of it. It was for sure a glimpse of horrific pain, but there was also such compassion as I heard the voice of God say to me over and over and over again, "I am a father to the fatherless". And this is what I've clung too. And yet, I fear you may think I am trying to "christianize" your experience. Please know this is the last thing I want to do. I have learned I will never understand, nor pretend to understand why you've had to endure the trauma of sexual crimes. What I do know is that a song, a poem, a lament, whatever you want to call it, started in the core of my soul and it began to sream for you. A primal cry for healing for your soul, for joy and happiness, for a knowing of comfort and peace. For lack of explanation, all I can say is that this was a supremely spiritual experience. Today I decided to look up all the passages on fatherless that I could find. These verses came the closest to expressing what was in my heart.
"Time to get up, God! Get moving!
The luckless think they're God-forsaken.
They wonder why the wicked scorn God,
and get away with it!
Why the wicked are so cock sure
they won't come up for audit.
But you know all about it - the contempt, the abuse.
I dare to believe that the luckless will get lucky some day in you.
You won't let them down, orphans won't be orphans forever.
Break all the wicked right arms, break the evil left arms.
Search and destroy every sign of crime
God's grace and order wins; godlessness loses
The victim's faint pulse picks up;
the hearts of the hopeless pump red blood as you put ear to their lips.
Orphans get parents, the homeless get homes.
The reign of terror is over, the rule of the gang lords is ended.
Father of orphans, champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless,
leads prisoners to freedom,
but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
Vera, I can never be your mom and Jeff can never be your dad, but you can be sure we will never abandon you. We will always be here.