Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings



Posted by Sue Badeau on March 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

“Couldn’t you keep watch with me even one hour?” (Mark 14:37)

I had in my mind to write an Easter devotional blog today, but the words just wouldn’t come.

Then I realized, I can’t write about the celebration of Easter until I get past the hump of Thursday’s betrayal.


Maundy Thursday.

The day of the Last Supper and the famous betrayal.

The story of Judas, the betrayer.

A dictionary definition of the word “betray” turns my attention away from Judas, and back to myself.

And back to my work with children who have experienced trauma.

Betray: to fail or desert especially in time of need.

It wasn’t only Judas who played the role of betrayer.

All of the disciplines did. We all do it.

All of us.

It wasn’t only back then.

It is now.

Have you ever felt deserted, “especially in time of need?”

Have you every felt you failed those you love, letting them down in times of need?

I have.

Experienced both sides. Betrayed. Betrayer.

All of it is painful.

But none is more painful than being betrayed by someone you love. Trust. Share your life, heart, home or work with.

David speaks of this is Psalm 55: “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship”

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network speaks of this when they define “complex trauma” - multiple or prolonged traumatic events . . . which are complex because “the caregiver is in a dual role of protector and potential source of traumatic experience.”

There are many different ways that children experience trauma. But for those children whose trauma comes at the hand of the parent or other adult entrusted with their care, the betrayal is profound.

The wounds deep.

The scars long-lasting.

Before Easter Sunday comes Good Friday.

But before Friday, comes Thursday.

The day of betrayal.

Before we can unwrap the gifts of grace, we need to understand the depth of betrayal.

In the garden, later Thursday night, Jesus asked his friends simply to wait with him.

To be present.

Sometimes that is the greatest gift we can give to a child.

Being there. Being present.

And sometimes, it is weeping with those who weep.

Often, when confronted with a person in sorrow, we seek to cheer them up. Psalm 30 is quoted, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” with an emphasis on the rejoicing.

But before the rejoicing comes the weeping.

Not a few tears shed.

Not a quick “cry and get it out of your system,”

No – weeping that lasts the whole night. Weeping until there are no tears left.

After experiencing a great trauma, we are told that David and all the people of his community “lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep”. (I Samuel 30:4)

Joy will come on Easter morning.

Joy will always return.

But when it is time for weeping, be there.

Be present.

Be the one to hold the tears and honor the pain.

Keep watch.

Categories: Hope for the Journey - Devotional Reflections

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Reply Vonda Skelton
6:59 PM on March 28, 2013 
Yes, in order to celebrate the resurrection and all it means for us, we have to first remember our part in the sin that sent Him to the cross. Thank you, Sue.
Reply Sue Badeau
8:54 PM on March 28, 2013 
Thanks Vonda - Just got back from one of my favorite services - Tenebrae - so deeply reflective. We all need time to be deeply reflective a little more often than our fast-lane, fast-food world tends to support