How great your affections are for me.

Unspeakable joy contrasts with a grieving spirit. Confusion mixed with evolving consolation. Sighs of relief eclipse despair.

A good mother would never allow her babe to enter the danger of darkness alone or at all if she can help it. She keeps him close and watches him safe. No harm will ever befall him if she can help it. And, she can.

Then, without warning, he wriggles from her grasp. He's outgrown her arms. The weight of her burden has lifted and settled in her mind, reluctant and forlorn. There is nothing for it now. Holding on will cause her to buckle under the weight but letting go is an illusion and she was never skilled at magic which requires too little devotion for her taste.

Eventually, she resigns herself to peek through her fingers and pray for mercy. He can go where he chooses. And, he will.

If not for shiny sharpness and the deepest of darkness, she could close her eyes just for the tiniest moment and rest. But all the unknown that she ever imagined begins it's haunting and she must be ever vigilant.

Grasping at a hope that trickles continuously through her open fingers, she wonders if her prayers will ever be answered.

In her darkest of days, as she is smothering the final traces of hope, deciding it too has become burdensome, she is saved. Piercing through in an instant, she recognizes the grace offered to this boy extends to her as well. In the most unlikely of places from an unforeseen source she understands the plan in progress:

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..."

Because the years of confusion and grieving have taken a toll and hearts ache with loss, the promise of being whole again lift her spirit and take her by surprise.

In a parking lot of an airport far away from home, she grasps now this promise of restoration and also a Refreshing because it is a gift of Grace, a Hand up and a Way out, a sustainable Word from a man of God. A blessing on which she can rest. It is decided, this day, despair flies away.

Ain't stealing my joy no more.