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PonderingPosted Friday, January 6, 2012, at 5:21 PM
RAYLA STEWART HOGUE
"Bella, beautisimo bambino!"
He looked at them with his sparkling blue eyes as one after another of the girls reached out for the baby boy. As they spoke to him, he laughed, proudly showing his erupting tooth, giggling at their voices. Even when they pinched his cheeks, his innocent, infectious laughter filled their hearts with warmth.
His momma stood by proudly, watching to ensure his safety while storing and treasuring these moments in her heart. She knew he was a special child. His very existence was such a miracle. Medical science could not explain his conception, but she knew. Her arms had ached for so many years with the emptiness bareness brings.
Of course she rejoiced in the births of her friends and family members, but her own heart twisted with the desire to bear her own. Long after the doctors had given up, long after she had given up and had come to a sense of peace about being childless, everything changed. He made himself known. At first the sudden illness could not be explained. Then when others suggested her state, she adamantly argued the impossibility. But the suspicious fluttering deep inside . . . told her it was true. Then the doctor showed her the precious life she carried within her.
The months flew by as she treasured in her heart every minute detail, every kick, every hiccup, and every breath. He was joy itself. When the time came and she finally held him in her arms, she was captivated. She whispered sweet words to him. She told him of her love, his purpose, his potential. He could be whomever he wanted to be and do anything in this world. The world was his for the taking.
"Tu es stupido!"
The words hurt her more than him. He had no concept of what they meant. He did understand the tone, the contempt. All around him stood boys who looked like him, young, strong bodies tensed like coils--ready to fight. He looked at them with huge, solemn, blue eyes, filling with tears and shame. He had done nothing wrong. Why did they hate him?
His young heart filled with courage as he looked to his momma and back to the boys. "I don't know your game, could you teach me?" He picked up the ball and threw it again. It went far out of reach of the other boy, hitting one not watching. They shouted at him as he ran back to him momma, hiding in her skirts. They ran toward him and stopped, not daring to approach as the eyes of a lioness protecting her cub warned them away.
She and the boy turned and slowly walked away to another section of the playground. Soon he was swinging high in the air. The sound of sweet laughter filled the air. Her words were soft as she told him again of her love, his purpose, his potential. He could be whomever he wanted to be and do anything in this world. The world was his for the taking.
Another mother came to her mind as she gazed at the group of boys playing and then turned back to her son squealing with delight on the swing. This other mother knew what it was to ponder things in her heart; to know that her boy was love, purpose, and potential. She watched him
as he walked with others, touched them, healed them, and taught them to love. She watched as others who were jealous of him taunted him, tried to trick him, and eventually spit on him, beat him, whipped him--murdered him. She watched from his feet, her eyes never leaving his as he loved
them with the very essence of his being. She did not understand.
Her son, pure, love itself, why did they hurt her son? He looked at her. His eyes told her of His love, His purpose, His potential. Their names could never hurt him. Their hatred, misunderstanding, covetousness--their finite minds could never understand. Their hope was through His love, His purpose, His potential. His eyes told her to trust him--to wait--to ponder in her heart all the things he had said, lived, and done; to look beyond; to trust him.
She wept. Then he breathed his last, but was this the end? She pondered this in her heart.
Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God. If you have questions or comments, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.