Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hurt Knee, Pierced Heart by Alexandra Kuykendall, mom of four

I hit my knee on my van this morning. I was climbing into the back to unfold the third row of seats before taking a carload of kids to school. It hurt. It will go away, I thought. But it didn’t, it throbbed. I didn’t even hit it that hard. What a wimp. My thoughts continued. I held my knee, gritted my teeth and looked down at the concrete garage floor. “Are you okay Mom?” Surprised, I looked up to my staring audience of three daughters and one carpool friend. “Yes, I’m fine” I said, reassuring them it hurt for now, but it would get better.

"I pray for their children who ask
“Are you okay Mom?”"

I looked at the floor again and pictured being thrown onto the concrete, kicked in the knee, and not stopping there … the chest … the head. Why would a bump on the knee take my mind there? My husband and I are part of a community that offers safe housing for women and their children escaping domestic violence. Last week I heard one of the moms describe being thrown down a flight of stairs by her child’s father. As I felt my knee throbbing, I imagined my whole body hurting like this. Then I pictured my audience. My children watching as someone I loved, and they loved, hurt me in a terrible way. My ache grew from my knee to my heart.

As I’ve been limping around the last few hours, my thoughts keep landing on my fellow moms. Every painful step reminding me of the physical and emotional pain they live with because someone they trusted turned on them. I pray for their children who ask “Are you okay Mom?” even though their little hearts know something is terribly wrong. I pray for their protection and for more safe places for these families to find refuge. I pray grateful prayers that the worst my children see is my own clumsiness climbing in and out of my van.

Dear God, thank you for being ever present in any painful situation and for being a strong and mighty defender of the weak. I know you fight for us. Please teach me how to fight for justice with you. Amen.

Domestic violence touches one out of four women at some point in their lives. If you or someone you know needs help, talk to a MOPS leader or church counseling resource and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, www.thehotline.org. Focus on the Family also has counseling resources for family issues at 1-855-771-HELP.

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