Today’s post is by guest blogger Krista Barmer, a brilliant writer who happens to be my wife.
“You are the anti-curse. Death going in reverse.” ~ Derek Webb
There’s an Asian woman who walks around our apartment complex when the weather is nice, like it was today, this first full day of Spring. In front of her, she pushes a gadgety black wheelchair that carries her son. I’ve studied them many times from my driver’s seat, slowing to a near stop to respectfully pass them. I studied them today.
His face, as always, was blank with retardation. Drool traced the line of his jaw and had dripped onto his t-shirt. He sat slouched, his tall and robust body curved like an S, his legs dangling just off the footrests. He could be my age, or close to it. And, if he was, he might be a writer or a singer or reader who would cross my path and we would chat for a minute about Steinbeck or Billy Collins or Sting’s Labyrinth at the local bookstore while waiting in line on our tea and coffee. But, we won’t; he only has the mind of an infant.
And she, mom, stands barely five feet tall. With all her petite strength, she pushed this hulking, dead-weight child: her lower back arched, shoulder blades pinched, knuckles white, palms wet. Her leg muscles contracted with definition. But it’s her face that told the stories. Too many stories. Determination has formed her jawline. Courage and constance have carved her cheekbones. Tenacious-ness has lined her brow. And some kind of longing I don’t understand now (and maybe never will) has colored and crowded her eyes.
I watched them today, this holy & good Friday, a day to remember necessary death and imperishable sacrifice, lifesaving atonement and finished work, a broken Saviour, a satisfied Father. I watched this mother and her son and asked, “Why?” knowing full well it was the wrong question. Knowing full well that it was good to grieve this loss because He has wept all our tears with us. Knowing that where there is death and veil and mess, life and fullness and beauty lie in wait. They wait for the third day. And for the anti-curse.