A Voice, Crying Out

People ask me sometimes how I write. Where do your ideas come from? Is it hard? Does it take a long time?

Every day, when I journal, read scripture and devotional materials, ideas usually flow freely. I jot in the back of my journal different blog ideas. Ideas also come to me when I walk each day. Or, I might set out on a walk with a tiny idea and along the way it blossoms. I consider this to be divine inspiration. Then, when I sit down to write out a fully blossomed idea, often it morphs into something quite different which always surprises me, pleasantly.

I try to just yield to the whole strange, uncomfortable process. I’m always paying attention to current events and news items that touch me and others.

Sometimes, I hit an empty patch where no ideas come.  I just let that be and pause, sometime skipping a weekly blog entry. Sometimes I just need to let something simmer and not try to express it.

This week something unusual happened. Words usually come very freely to me when I sit down to write. I wrote a bit and then got very stuck. I left it. It stayed stuck. I prayed…still stuck. I walked…stuck.

So today, I’m sharing with you something very sputtering and partially formed. I think the problem is I cannot find my voice. I cannot put into words all I feel.

Politics aside, really, here goes:

Years ago, we had the privilege of flying on airline passes due to a relative working for the airlines. We took a short vacation within the state with our almost three-year old daughter. She had to have a real ticket, so she boarded with some friends who also had tickets but were flying on to another state. We were to get on the plane closer to departure time. Something happened having to do with the airline’s commitment to a ‘very on time departure’. While we waited, boarding passes in hand, the doors suddenly shut and the plane took off, with our two and half-year old on board, without us.

I had not anticipated in any way that this would happen. I cannot tell you the terror I felt. I had not explained to her this possibility. All she knew was we were not with her. I had no control over this, none. She was going to land in Dallas. Our friends had a connecting flight. I was shaking, crying, pleading with the airline personnel. Nothing helped.

This scenario worked out. I had parents in the area who left their jobs, rescued our daughter, fed her SpaghettiOs, let her swim and take a nap until we got there.

It was my only taste of my child being torn from me. I’m marked by it still.

Can you even imagine your child torn from you?

This is happening right now, in our country while we accuse each other of lying; while we try to justify who broke what law and who can fix it. People are citing scripture as to why this is good, proper and business as usual. Christians I know are on social media essentially asking what is the big deal, aren’t criminals deprived of their children all the time?

Breast fed babies are being pulled from their moms and their only known source of sustenance. Children are plaintively crying “momma, papa” while we debate whether these children are being incarcerated in prisons, interment camps, cages or simple fenced in enclosures. I’ve heard people say, don’t worry, the children are being fed and shown videos. Now we are being told there are whole facilities for babies. Really?

Statements are being issued by so many while so many others are strangely quiet. All living first ladies (where are their husbands?) and whole Christian denominations are making statements. Corporations are vowing to be a part of constructive change. And yet, this continues.

What is wrong with us?

I have scripture to share too. These two keep ringing in my head. God saying though the prophet Isaiah, Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15 God’s deeply entrenched love and connection to us being likened to a nursing mom’s physical, emotional and spiritual attachment to her nursing child.

And this, A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more. Matthew 3:18, quoting the prophet Jeremiah.

I’ve used this scripture at the funerals of children just to put it out there that there are some losses that nothing can help. Children being ripped from their parents is one of them. There is no consolation for that. There is no law, no wall, no political stance, no reparation or making it right.

My words do not flow today. I can’t find my voice. My mom’s heart, my pastor’s heart, my American heart is breaking. What is wrong with us, collectively, politically, spiritually?

There is no consolation for this.

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and nursing baby Pace. She is a breast cancer survivor.

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12 thoughts on “A Voice, Crying Out

  1. Angela

    I am right here with you, heart and soul. Families are meant to be together and anything that stands in the way of that is not the answer.

    Reply
  2. Melissa Lamprich

    We became members of Dr. Ryan’s church several years ago after reading her column in the Colleyville News and Times about “Pet peeves.” One of them was “mean Christians.” (Of course, that’s an oxymoron.)
    We are seeing a display now of now heartless “Christians” think and behave. These folks would likely campaign to put the Ten Commandments on courthouse lawns and display “In God We Trust” plaques in schools, but do they understand the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount.

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Cowen

      Thank you for finding words – I have not been able to comprehend this. Gut wrenching and makes me feel helpless. How do we help?

      Reply
  3. cawalgren

    This IS your voice and I love you for it. Maybe, because you, like so many of us, can’t believe the words about this topic and these times are even real and that’s why you don’t recognize the words as coherent thoughts. This is exactly what makes your voice so beautiful and appealing to so many. This is what makes your thoughts, ideas, and words such that your family, friends, congregants, followers and complete strangers crave. You express what we are all wondering and feeling with such raw emotion. It can’t be put into peaceful prose. What is happening in our state and nation is abhorrent, incoherent, messy, and inhumane. Thank you for always being a real human; an inspiring and authentic pastor, speaker and writer; a loving and loyal advocate, espeically for women and children; and a beacon of light on both the brightest of days and the darkest of days, and everything in between.

    Reply
  4. Julie Croft

    I’m reading Judges, and I keep reading, “and then the people did evil in the eyes of the Lord”, and thinking….we haven’t evolved much!! But prayers answered, I just heard that they are stopping the separations!!

    Reply
  5. Bronwen choate

    The world is turned upside down. I cannot understand using Scripture to justify separting children frm their patents. Lord, help us al.

    Reply
  6. Susan H Stonecipher

    I was going through old newspaper clippings this morning, which is one of my favorite hobbies. My house is stuffed with boxes of clippings. I found one today by Dr. Cindy Ryan titled In Celebration of Girlfriends and wanted to find out if there was an online version I could email my friends. So I took to the web and found this blog. I was moved to see your recent blog about the separation of families. Thank you for speaking out — there have been too many of us silent for too long. It’s like nodding and smiling at that racist or sexist joke by one of your clients. We know what is right and wrong but the consequences of responding with our truth seems too risky. The consequences of our not speaking out at this time in our country can be fatal now, and, sadly, I don’t see that as hyperbole. Health care, the environment, bullying, guns, racism, hate and alienation of our allies. Speak out everyone and vote your truth.

    Reply
    1. drcindyr Post author

      Susie, thank you. I’ve been following the interfaith work you’ve been doing and would love to hear how I might help. Would you like to meet for coffee sometime?

      Reply

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