“It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.” —Annie Dillard
I stand right now on the precipice of that gap that Dillard talks about, ready to wade into this waterfall. I have turned against the edge of rage at the smallness of my life, knowing that this adventure will be wild; it will be more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright than I know in this moment. But I have grace unmerited. The waters of this grace already churn around my ankles. I can’t wait until it pours over me.
I have known in my life the unmerited grace and mercy that is found in suffering. And I’m sure that I will see it again in tears of little boys, the frustration of language barriers, the overwhelming task of taking on this adventure alone, the sadness in the silence late at night as my heart hurts for the little ones who softly breathe around me.
But it has been a really, really long time since Lazarus has been raised, as it were. It has been a desert place in my heart for many years. Blessings have come, but they have been drops of treasured water upon a parched tongue; sorely needed and accepted with immense gratefulness, but never quite enough. With sand ever before me, I wondered if that waterfall was simply a mirage, meant for others, but not for me.
These are some of the notes that people have been sending me with donations for Soccer Boy. They represent 35 different families who have donated a little over $3000 toward bringing him here for the summer. They are the waters of grace telling me that I am not alone, that I can be as wild as I want to be. Here are a few of their stories:
- I received funds from a family I know through my business. Their family of four pulled from each of their individual savings to bless us. It’s a humbling thing to see my high school students give from their own funds, and to know that another family is gathering together to join with me, even if they are physically far away.
- I received a check from a man I don’t know. He included a note that said, “I am [you’re friend’s] father. She told me about your endeavor, and here is my small amount. I want to help.”
- College friends who I have not seen in years sent extremely generous sums of money. Some of these friends have become incredibly precious to me not so much in college, but in the last few years over Facebook. What a blessing to know that they treasure our relationship as much as I do.
- New friends, just starting to bud into treasured kindreds, have jumped in with both feet, giving time, and money, and a listening ear.
- One friend sent a check earmarked from her dog. This thing has gone inter-species, people!
My community has come together, in this oasis, to be wild and to step out and do something both dangerous and bright. I don’t know how long I will get to stay here, and what the future will bring for my family, but I’m already so glad for the experience.