I see you there… You’re the bad mom. You’re the one that nurses talk about in hushed tones. You’re the one nursing students talk about with anger in the cafeteria. You make physicians sigh and start your baby on morphine. I see you.
I see you holding your baby with tears in your eyes. I hold your baby too, because my job is to see the needs of your baby and care for him while he struggles through withdrawal. I see his needs. I see how he cries hysterically as though getting his diaper changed is just more stimulation than he can bear. I see him rubbing his little feet together and breathing fast like he’s always running, running from a monster that’s chasing him. And I know you know, in a way I cannot know, exactly what he’s going through. And I see your tears.
Because my job is to see your needs as well as your child’s. You’re the bad mom, but my job as a nurse and as a daughter of God is to reach out to you- to smile and support you, to encourage you, to make you coffee, and help you to care for your baby. I see you struggling through this experience. I see you hitting rock bottom, and I see you breaking in two. I hear you vowing to never do this again, but I also hear you admitting with defeat that you’ve tried before- and it never lasted.
And there I see myself. I remember those times- those moments when I hit rock bottom and my heart broke in two. Sometimes I too have tried desperately to get on top of some wrong in my life and I couldn’t, and I cried. I am human too. I too have struggled with addictions- addictions to selfishness, to fear, to pride… I couldn’t conquer on my own strength. But for the grace of God, I am you.
Because of that, I cannot judge you. I mourn with you. I reach out a hand to you and hope that you can do it this time. I hope that you see a scarred hand reaching out through me. I hope you turn to the One who has reached out to me so many times and saved me… You may have scarred your child, but I have scarred the hands of God’s Child. His grace remained. If there is grace for me, there is grace for “bad moms.”
I see you, and you are not alone. One by one the stone-throwers will disappear if you focus on the face of Jesus. You’re not alone. He is with you. I cannot condemn you, because I am you. He is the only one who could condemn. But He whispers, “Neither do I condemn you. You don’t need to turn to heroin anymore. I took scars in My hands, so you don’t have to have track marks in your arms…”