Colored pencil drawing on white paper by Muppin ©2015, 8x11 1/2 inches
Colored pencil drawing, by Muppin ©2015, 8 x 11.5 inches

How do I make sense of this?
It leaves me breathless.
As I stare into the dark abyss.

I am unsure how I should feel.
A life now transcended.
Could this be another path to heal?

~Mark Schutter ©2015

This past week my 10-year-old daughter drew the above portrait. The woman in the picture is ‘Ruth’ my first wife who died of cancer over 22 years ago. My daughter never has met her or seen a picture of her. She only recently began to deduce, by overhearing comments, that her daddy may have been married once before. When she came out and asked the question last week, her mother and I did not want to lie to her so we told her the truth, minus a lot of details that a 10-year-old does not need to know at this point. We (I) had always planned on telling her someday, just figured it would be on our time-table not hers. Oh, well, some secrets are not meant to be kept hidden.

Well, the next day when I returned home from work my daughter quietly came into our  bedroom and left this on the bed for me to find. Needless to say it rocked my heart. This little girl had more compassion already than I will ever hope to have. Suffice to say, the drawing comes pretty close to capturing the physical look and even more so, the soul of Ruth. My daughter cares deeply and has told her mother she does not want to make me sad, but she also wants to know all about this lady that was part of her daddy’s life before she was ever born.

I have puzzled over this turn of events in my mind all week-long. I wrote another poem that same night and will post it eventually. Yet, I keep coming back to this picture drawn by a 10-year-old girl of a woman she never met who was a huge part of my life when I experienced tremendous joy and ultimately my darkest pain. You can read a little more if you about that on my about page, A Cowboys Heart.

The phrase ‘How do I make sense of this?’ has kept going through my mind. Well, God moves in mysterious ways and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe this is a way He is bringing deeper healing to places in my heart that I still refuse to go. So the short poem above came to me today and I added the text to the photo. I love my girl, and her momma, with all my heart. God has blessed me beyond measure and my gratitude often goes silent and unspoken. May I learn to love deeply and honestly, like my little girl. May we all chose to #JustBelieve that #GraceWins and #HopeLives.

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