Tag Archives: terror

My Fault…


I thought I could go back to bed and lie there for a bit without incident. So, technically, I suppose it was my fault. But I heard everyone helping each other get breakfast. It sounded peaceable.

So, forty glorious minutes later I walk out. The weather’s perfect. It’s sunny. Even the introvert in me is charmed.

“Let’s go to the park,” I say, “Shoes on.”

At this moment in the hallway the little guy passes me holding a spoonful of milky cereal in front of his belly and marching into his bedroom. Curious, I follow him. Then I watch as he stops, calculates, throws said cereal onto the carpet, touches one foot on top of it delicately as if to evaluate his success and turns, I’m assuming, in order to get more.

Well, I stop that nonsense and on the way to the kitchen with the spoon I notice several other arrangements of cereal on the floor and realize this is an installation piece, probably entitled “Scourge of My Mother”. There is also one very wet towel lying in a square on the floor.

“Hey guys? What’s with the wet towel? Did he have an accident?”

“No, Mom, he spilled a cup of milk,” said the eldest.

“He did it on purpose. And it was my milk,” said the girl.

Mixed media.

(There are many moments like this when I’m glad I don’t have a nice place. I can’t stand how my kids treat my two-bedroom rental. What on earth would I do if they treated my dream-house this way?!)

I proceed into the kitchen. And the baby has tried to make a smoothie.

Here is a picture of that baby:


I sigh and scrap my plans for the park. I place the baby in the tub (the only place he will remain contained) and wipe counters, do dishes, unload dishwasher so I can load dishes, start laundry from last night’s pee debacle(another long story), scrub and baking soda a square of carpet, sweep the kitchen, vacuum and four hours later it’s nap time and I’m sucking down coffee and eating some Go Diego Go cereal. For some subliminal reason I wanted some.

The first baby, that’s not anyone’s fault. You’re naive; you’ve never had a baby. You don’t know. The second one, well, that’s not technically your fault either. You and your husband have seven siblings between you. Let’s blame family culture. But three, well- the third one’s on you. You asked for three. This is on you.




“Let me sing for my beloved

my love song concerning his vineyard:

My beloved had a vineyard

on a very fertile hill.


He dug it and cleared it of stones,

and planted it with choice vines;

he built a watchtower in the midst of it,

and hewed out a wine vat in it;

and he looked for it to yield grapes,

but it yielded wild grapes.


And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem

and men of Judah,

judge between me and my vineyard.

What more was there to do for my vineyard,

that I have not done in it?

When I looked for it to yield grapes,

why did it yield wild grapes?


And now I will tell you

what I will do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge,

and it shall be devoured;

I will break down its wall,

and it shall be trampled down.


I will make it a waste;

it shall not be pruned or hoed,

and briers and thorns shall grow up;

I will also command the clouds

that they rain no rain upon it.


For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts

is the house of Israel,

and the men of Judah

are his pleasant planting;

and he looked for justice,

but behold, bloodshed;

for righteousness,

but behold, an outcry!” Isaiah 5:1-7

We did this passage last week in Sunday school.  The second grade class went long.  They were talking about Paris.  A wise mother navigated the discussion and led them in prayer.  And they all learned that church is exactly where you are supposed to talk about justice.

We have been supposed to talk about justice since the beginning.  It’s not new.  It’s not liberal.  It’s as old as the exile.

And it’s really really simple.

We should take in all the refugees.  Even if there are terrorists among them?  Yes.  But it may not be safe!

I would like to know where in the Bible it tells us to be safe.  I would like to know which stories of outsiders being folded into the bloodline of Jesus are the exceptions to the rule. I would like to hear how the Good Samaritan was cautious.  I want to hear how Jesus only fed half the people because of limited resources. I want to know where God says fear is greater than love.

I don’t pray for safety for my children. I don’t tell them to be safe or careful. I tell them to be wise and do good. I pray that God goes with them.

We, like the Israelites, have built God a temple in the land.  And we, like the Israelites, make the mistake of thinking we have him domesticated.  But there is nothing safe about God.  There is only everything good about God.

You know what else is good?  When you see a dead Syrian boy the fact that you can do something about it is good.  The fact that we can do something about it feels very very good.  We can help.  We are required to help.  God does not promise us safety.  It is still the right thing to do.