01 September 2010

The Phantom Critic

I feel the need, the need for speed. No, that's not it. I feel the need to defend and explain myself. To whom? No one in particular. The phantom critic, the person who has read my post-Honduras update and is bashing me for referring to Hector and Wilmer as "my boy" and questioning my "motherly love." I questioned my word choices as well. I tried to think of another way to describe what I feel towards the Micah boys, because it is not just Hector or Wilmer who are "my boys" - they all are, and that really is the best way to say it. I know, I know, they aren't really mine, truly, they belong to God. The love I have for them is most akin to a maternal love, and wouldn't any mother call her sons "my boys" with the understanding that they are her responsibility, they have been put in her care, entrusted to her by God. And that is not unlike how I feel; that God has imbued me with a deep love for these boys that is motivating me to help carry the responsibility of raising and caring for them. I just can't come up with a better word than "maternal" to describe it.
I have no desire or illusion of being their mom, they have mothers. Some are involved in their lives, some have passed away, some are absent, some are a positive influence, some are not, but they have mothers - and it isn't me (we need an equivalent of the African notion of "Auntie"). What I can be is an adult figure who loves them, just as they are, who will stand beside them through their ups and downs, a stable positive constant, teach them how to navigate life, encourage them to be their best, point them to God, training them up in the way they should go, who will continue to love them even when they throw it back in my face. Why? Because that is what God does for me every single day. It's all about the love of Jesus. Because He loves me, I need to share that love. Because He first loved me, I can love my boys. Because He loves me, and has given me this love for Micah, I will do the hard work of loving. To the boys, I'm just one of many visitors that came down this summer; I'm just the crazy gringa who spoke gibberish that no one understood, who spit water on Hector, kissed Wilmer (and others), and had a camera permanently attached to her hand - that is, if they remember me at all. Before I can be that 'caring adult figure' I have to earn the right, earn their trust and respect, prove myself, before I can speak into their lives. That will take time, years, and it won't be easy. But I am driven to take on this challenge by the love of Jesus. What other source could give me the strength to sell my cute home (and my books, which may be more painful) and move to Honduras? It's all about the love of Jesus, baby!
And there I go again, talking like it's a done deal!

This is my response to that phantom critic who lives in my head, and hopefully only there.

*One more note about Hector, "the son I didn't know I had." If I had ever had a son, I'm certain that the resemblance in personality and temperament to Hector would have been uncanny. That's all I meant.

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