Time in a bottle (or breast)

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. ~ Psalm 119:36-38

How quickly the human heart turns something created for God's glory into an idol! "Beholding vanity", such a beautiful phrase of Old English found in the King James Bible, is substituted by most modern translators with the term "worthless things". What is worthy, and what is worthless? Breastfeeding is certainly held up as worthy in our society at this stage of history, the gold standard in infant nutrition and perfectly designed to promote both physical and psychosocial development. It is a beautiful, precious act that at times has seemed sacred to me...never more so than in the past six weeks as I prepared to give it up. While it is worthy - God gave me these children to feed, clothe, protect, nurture and teach, after all - it is not sacred by any definition of the word ("set apart for worship", "dedicated for one purpose or service", or "entitled to reverence").

I tend to think of idol worship as bowing down physically before an altar. What would I be willing to humiliate myself for, in other words? I would certainly never bow down to my breasts (oh, horrid thought)! Yet was I, in a more subtle sense? Do I really believe that my ability to give and receive love with my child is bound in such a finite, limited act, the ability to perform which is bound quite certainly in the present and would shortly pass, whatever my situation? What I am really mourning, if I mourn this loss, is time. I am experiencing that inevitable marching on of days that God Himself put in motion at the creation of the world (Genesis 1). In a few short months, my sweet, happily breastfed son would have been done with that need, and would be gleefully independent of me and I of him. Would I have shed as many tears if weaning had taken place in the way I planned it?

As always, I wind up at the end of a long string of questions with many new ones left unanswered. How much is it appropriate to mourn such a loss? Mortality - that grim truth we are all facing when we speak of time and our days being numbered - still reigns, and in it Satan. That I can mourn. Even then I must guard myself...am I crying tears of sorrow or righteous anger toward the enemy, or am I crying tears of pity for my own self? Do I believe that God will turn this - and every sorrow - into dancing in the end? Yes, I do believe that. On that I must act: a smile for my children, a hug for my husband in greeting at the close of each day, a sigh of relief to my Savior who has borne me through yet another storm. Let my tears be something God can heal and answer, not an unanswerable state of bitterness and settled depression.

Lord, still my waves, the waves of my sea
That keep me tossed and full of fear
Open my eyes to see my Jesus, my Friend,
Over all, and yet so near.
~ Debra Holmen, Eat and Drink