August 2, 2002
Standing before me, a child in her teens;
Long brownish hair and ragged blue jeans.
Speaking a language entirely her own,
Whispering softly while she's on the phone.
What are the secrets she holds in her heart?
That mother and father cannot share a part?
Once I held all of this little girl's life.
Nurtured it, guarded it, shielded from strife.
I bandaged the wounds and wiped away tears.
Soothed away all of her sorrows and fears.
Sharing with her my knowledge of God...
And not to fear walking where no feet have trod.
How to be brave and make prints of her own,
And not to be shaken when standing alone.
Especially when she know she is right...
And God in her conscience say fight the good fight.
Then came the day when I had to let go,
To share her with life, be it friend or foe.
Twas' then that I found how weak was the shield
I gave her to carry out there in the field.
For I failed to teach her all she should know...
And out of my ignorance this child did grow.
With hands made of clay I did what I could...
For I too was learning, about motherhood.
The knowledge I shared of God was too small...
To cushion the blows of the world when she'd fall.
I gave all I had, but it wasn't enough.
For the road she traveled was far too rough.
Her shield was too fragile to meet the strife....
Of a world full of sin, the problems of life.
She fell to her knees with the very first blow.
Then rose again slowly to fend with her foe.
Dear God in your mercy, look down from above.
Please shelter this child in your arms of love.
Please give her the armor you only can give..
And walk with her always so that she may live...
In strength and in courage the rest of her days.
Dear God, in your mercy, please show her your ways.
--- Copyright © 2002 Carol Ottlinger