This is our tiny kitchen (plus a sink and fridge). One Sunday morning I was clearing up that little workspace and a glass slipped. Thankfully Paul came to the rescue sweeping shards while I grabbed the baby. Later a small friend came round to play, and noticed that the baby’s finger was bleeding, of course he’d found a tiny spike left behind. I swept him up, we applied the plaster (which stayed on for all of 30 seconds), kissed, cuddled and soothed, and soon he was peacefully napping.
That afternoon we met with our local leaders to discuss how to respond to sexual violence in our community. As a professional I’ve discussed these issues, interviewed victims and supported families through traumatic times. Yet my heart was weighed down as I realised again that these issues affect the ones that I love. We discussed definitions, watched this video about consent (and tea), and this spoken word piece called ‘Take Back the Night’. It was hard, but it was important.
I was drained by the time I got home, but restlessness led to me tidying up our tiny kitchen once again. As I washed the dishes I lamented. I felt that heaviness inside of me, and thought of that other physical sensation I have behind my ribs when I look at my son. Love. Surely all babies should be loved. Yet in our world children are too often hurt and abused. And it’s so big, this world, and these problems. I wish I could do more than cry over the sink.
I talked with my friend that night about our sphere of influence, where our responsibility lies. At times like this my ‘sphere’ feels as small as my kitchen. I know I’m not responsible for that whole big overwhelming world. I have this wee house, and this wee boy. I hope that I can love him well, and the other friends, big and small who come under our roof. I can cook and nourish and listen and lament. I can do the small work of my hands and heart. And I can try to trust in a divine Father who longs to sweep up his children and wipe away every tear.