Why Weak is the New Strong: Radical Right Where You Are {Pt4}

So I fell extremely anemic in the fall.

Could hardly drag out of bed, felt like jello, looked like a gaunt ghost, and got winded walking from the sink to the stove.

I’d draped arms around the Farmer’s neck and told him I was sure I was right broke.






Re-seasoned Cast Iron Pans


So the nurse at the doctor’s office drew this vial of blood to see what was the deal.

I dragged myself back out to the van and stood in the cold wind digging for my keys.

I wasn’t home a half hour when she called here to the house and she said — Send your Farmer back into town, the doctor’s phoned your prescription over to the pharmacy right now.

I laid on the couch and he handed it to me and I swallowed down iron.

I laid there on the couch and why do us women listen to the voices that tell us that you’re a good for nothing and you fail and that you’re less-than and you’re way too much of a weak mess to be used for anything?

Why do we let our blood run thin and watery over what someone thinks of you, or what no one says to you, or what anyone does or doesn’t do for you?

Why can forgiving ourselves — seem like the unforgivable sin?

The clock ticks loud in the kitchen.

The house siding shudders thin in the wind.

Some days the hardest thing to get on — is the strength to go on.

What do you do when the lifeblood of you  — seems to be leaking away?

“What if we bought a cast iron skillet?” I lean in the kitchen after dinner one night, after the weary and the ache hollows out the inside of my bones.

Hope-girl’s scrubbing out the stainless steel frying pan.

The Farmer and the boys clear off the table in the fading light.

“You think it’d help?” The Farmer takes a stack of enamel plates from Kai. He’s looking at me like he’d do anything to make this better, like there are men who’d die to make their wives strong.

They say that if you cook on iron — it gets right into you.”

Hope turns at the sink and half laughs. “Really?”

She’s standing there questioning, like a woman wanting to pry the earth right open and get to the core of things, and looking into her, it’s like a mirror, into all the women who want to know how, when you are weak, is exactly when you are strong enough to go on.

“The iron from the iron skillet, it gets into your food — and they say anemic pioneer women? Were actually kept going by eating out of cast iron skillets.

And that’s what she has to know — that when you’re weakest and can’t stand, there’s a Savior who took the iron and He’ll be all your steel.

That when your day’s a mess and you can’t iron out all the wrinkles of the last week, the last year, Christ is your iron and He doesn’t make you strong: He is your strength.

How can we be anemic for anything — when Christ opened His arms and took the iron to welcome you in.

He loved you so much He took the spike of the iron so He’d be your iron when you’re too weak to go on.

You don’t need to have to have the strength to go on. You just need Him.

I want to cup Hope-girl’s face and tell her I’ve laid awake at night and stared at the ceiling and replayed the times I lost it and lost His Way and just whisper one thing her mama knows:

Anger is a symptom of soul anemia.

And your iron is Christ who sacrificed, and your iron is Christ who is IN you, and your iron is Christ who saved the world when He laid Himself down.

Real iron for the anemic is living the radical way of the sacrificed Savior — not in an iron fist.

And the Farmer opens the Bible after every meal and we all turn to Romans with him and the iron from the Word, it gets right into you when it’s your real food and sure, half-laugh that Bible reading after every meal is quaint and trite or only for the bloated holy, the steely devout. But the truth of it is, it’s only the weak who know how desperately they need iron — and if they don’t get it, they don’t get to live.

I can only say it because I’ve lived it: It’s possible to water down your Christianity with justifications until you can hardly stand.

And it’s possible to stand the strongest in Christ — when you’re too weak to stand at all.

Kids whirl loud all day.

The washing machine leaks.

I grind my teeth and I don’t notice and Malakai tells me to stop being anxious.

And it happens throughout the winter — this fall again into iron-scarred hands, this lifeblood warming in iron clad love.





Related: {The next several Wednesdays will wrestle with “Radical Right Where You Are”}
When You are Weary of Watered-Down, Vanilla Christianity {Pt 1: Radical Series}
What Does a bit of Radical Christianity Really Look Like —- Right Where You Are? {Pt 2: Radical Series}
What Radical Christianity Looks Like Right Where You Are {Pt 3: Radical Series}
The Miracle He will not Withhold from You
Change the Prepositions in Your life and You Change Your Life

Why Reading the Bible after every Meal is One Radical Habit that changes a family

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