Sunday, February 07, 2016

You don't know me

How I hate it when you,
 with your smarmy smile and your lifetime in your eyes,
dare to pry into that most private place,
the sweet darkness when my body meets another in the wildest possible declaration of love and trust.

How I hate it when you,
with your delighted arms and your bland ignorance,
insist on asking the same bladed question,
every time you see me,
like maybe something changed in the last week.

How I hate it when you,
with your skin-deep acquaintance with me and disinterest in knowing,
try to tunnel down to the core
in just one phrase.

You don't know me.

Vulnerability and openness are my gifts,
but who gave you the right to tear down to the depths like something you're owed?

You don't know me.

Do you ever stop to think
what it really is you're asking?

You don't know me.

What does it mean to you,
the answer to that ragged question?

You don't know me.

When will you ask me
the questions that matter,
the questions that would actually lead you to know me?

Instead of so are you pregnant?
maybe you could ask
what has Jesus said to you this week?
have there been hard things in your life recently?
how have you loved your neighbor well?
any number of questions that don't treat me like a breeding animal,
just a baby factory.

Instead of so when will it be your turn?
maybe you could pause and think
I wonder if there have been nights she's cried herself to sleep because her womb and her arms are empty
Perhaps the Holy Spirit is doing things here I'm not privy to
Maybe there are factors in her marriage that are none of my damn business.

Because honestly
would you ever dream of asking someone
When was the last time you had intercourse?
What's up with your ovaries these days?
Yet that's what you ask me
you see me.
(I'm sorry, do I look like a giant sex organ?!?)

And instead of covering your ass when I bite back,
making excuses in the face of my impatience or anger or grief,
and telling me
I just love being a parent
Babies are gifts!
You're so awesome, you'd be a great mom
You two will make the cutest kids
(all such true things, and do you really think I'm just ignorant?)
maybe you could just say
I'm sorry-- it's not my business,
you have the right to be hurt that this is all I care about,
Jesus is good,
and He's alive,
and He speaks,
even to women who aren't yet mothers.

You don't know me.
But maybe
if you started the conversation differently
you would.

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