Motherhood is Like A Flesh-Eating Disease
Yep, one day you wake up and look down at yourself and think - there used to be a person here. And you realize, the person that used to be has been slowly eaten away - day by day - hour by hour until all that exists is the memory.
In Elizabeth Goudge's novel, A Child From the Sea , a bedraggled, depleted and spent old man, the sin eater, skulks along the fringes of a Welsh village. Despised and tormented, he nonetheless provides a vital service the superstitious people of this 17th century rural community do not like to admit they need. He takes their sins upon himself. In eating the bread and meat they leave out, laced with their sins, his loving actions sets them free and further dooms himself.
Kinda like being a mother.
In the play The Ragman , a Christ-like figure takes on rags of sin and leaves behind clothes new and clean. Taking the sins, hurts, disappointments upon himself, setting others free at his expense. But, in the drama the Ragman is Christ. He rises again, clean and whole.
We mothers are more like the sin eater. Taking upon ourselves every hurt, disappointment, need, commitment, desire, shortcoming, joy and tear of our young. Setting them free and encaging ourselves. Stacking upon ourselves layer after layer until one day you realize that some bacteria in the layers has been slowly consuming the self. Until one day you look down and there is nothing left of the person you were. All that's left is a mother.
Hallmark's got it all wrong...
Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
- Frederick Buechner
If society prospers at the expense of the intangibles,
how can it be called progress?