I’m not proud to admit it, but here it is:
I’ve become slightly obsessed with Ebola.
I track the updates like a panicked scientist in the Outbreak movie, I think back to my days as a nurse wearing “protective gear” to care for severely infected patients–like the time my boss asked me to come in on a day off and care for a patient dying of a rare, flesh-eating bacteria, um, no thank you–and I shudder in horror thinking of the reality of how hard it is to protect yourself.
My son sneezes all over my phone, the lady at Starbucks wipes her nose before handing me my salted carmel mocha (shout out to Briana Meade, heey!) my husband comes in from a day at his work as a public school teacher and lays on the couch and I see millions of viruses and bacteria feasting on my throw pillows. To be blunt,
I see germy people.
Of course, I’m being irrational (I hope?!), but my fears point to a deeper, darker picture in the very real world of motherhood–how hard it is to live in a world where horrible things happen. Right now, ebola is killing hundreds of mothers who infect their babies with their very touch, the one thing that seems most natural to us as caregivers; right now, parents are learning that their months-old daughter has cancer; right now, a mother is grieving the upcoming angelversary of her murdered daughter.
I can’t sleep a lot of nights, thinking about it all and absorbing that universal pain that hits the heart of all mothers when see lost and hurting babies, children, and families.
Because deep down, we all know it could be us. It could be any of us, any time, and there is nothing that separates us from the fine line of having the privilege to complain about a day spent stepping on Legos to a day wishing those Legos would once again litter our floors.
And on those nights, I cling to a faith that has evolved so much to me throughout my years, a faith that isn’t so much about the religion itself or the rules or any ridiculous notions of a feast day here or there, but to me, in simply having faith itself, no matter what form that may be.
Because on the days and the nights that seem hopeless, it’s almost harder to have hope, to believe that there could possibly be any sense to a world where viruses–an organism that seems pure evil on earth, an organism that literally takes over its host’s cells and forces them to do its own evil bidding–thrive, where babies die, where a simple touch can infect.
I want to give up, to scoff my head loftily at the thought that I would give in to any opiate for the masses.
I feel myself turning in, the visions of hurt and germs and pain and brokeness threatening to overwhelm me.
And then I force myself to remember. To realize that there is more. To recognize the beauty that defies all.
In the birth of a baby, a new life that emerges, hopeful and pure, through pain and earthly debris, a miracle that will never stop and always fills our hearts with awe.
In the goodness of people, of people who will risk their very lives to care for others.
In a tiny voice proclaiming, “Wuv you, Mama,” in a first smile lighting up my whole world, in the blowing leaves and the scent of coffee filling my house, in the simple moments that are both big and small.
Some days, it’s hard to have hope.
But if you look hard enough, it’s always there.
Speaking of hope, I am hoping you will click on over to what I’ve covered elsewhere this week!
Image property of Chaunie Brusie