The Light in the Kitchen



The house is quiet now.  The scene has gone dark. Missing are the blue lights, cell phones, computer screens and tv. No more open-close of the refrigerator. Creaking floors are silent. Even the birds outside the kitchen window have taken shelter for the night.

There is a void, of movement.  And voices. Bickering. No, it’s more than that. Frustration. Hurt.

And fear.

It’s just me now.  And the light in the kitchen.

The humming of the dishwasher, the only sound. And the typing. My fingers anxiously willing the toxic emotions to leave my body. Even after retreating, hiding in the closet, trying to stop the madness with some words from the wise, closing my eyes tight and praying for God to please help…there are things that need to come out, that can only be released in written words. And I’m taken aback by this urge to express, following the temptation to lay on the floor next to the forgotten shoes and sleep. Sleep and forget.

At 7:15am this morning, the sun spewed orange fingers out over the fields behind our house and greeted us on our way to school. Sometimes my boys and I share prayers or music. Other times conversation. Rarely silence.

I said aloud, “Thank you Lord for the beautiful sunshine, new and different everyday!”

Then He held my hand, surging courage into my heart for an awkward conversation with a friend. He whispered love through my hands to care for two precious little girls while their mommy ran errands. And He surprised me with an extra boost of energy to go on an evening walk with a tummy full of fettuccine.

But then things went dim. Went sour. And like a shooting star, it was beautiful and then gone. All gone.

One word leads to two more words and quickly a barrage smacks me right up side the face. My son, the one who lays his head on my lap each night and asks me to run my fingers through his hair, he was in a mood. The sting of his words, familiar. Hauntingly familiar. Yet freshly painful every time. Repeating that “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” And so it goes.

Beautiful sunrise, happiness, and we almost made it to the finish line of this 24 hour period. It’s amazing how it all can change in a few confusing moments and make your heart go sick. Blind you from the days’ joys. Wipe it all away…seemingly.

This one small child can whip me with words so callous and condescending. And he doesn’t even know the meaning of condescending. It’s embarrassing, humiliating – but this repetitive dance with disrespect and degradation sends me cowering, desperate for an escape. It makes me fearful. Fearful of it’s power. Fearful that it will gain momentum and destroy everything in its path. Destroy me. And the lies loom large. Like a flash, for a moment, I’m believing that my son is an abuser and I am his victim. And I should just go to sleep, forever.

I check to see that all is clear. I step out of the closet. Under the door to my bedroom is a note. I read words seeking forgiveness, in the most simple child-like form. It’s far too innocent in comparison to the stabs he inflicted earlier.

The light is on in the hallway and I go in to my son’s room. He’s laying on his bed, looking spent, staring at the ceiling. A tear escapes his eye.

Again, the Lord takes my hand. He leads me to cross the bridge, close the gap, dry the tears. He reaffirms that His light will never fail to transform the darkness. Just a few words, and “I love you”, “Goodnight”, and I close my son’s door to end the day.

Now it’s just me. And the Light in the kitchen.






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