I will carry you

Amy Grant, Carry You

Lay down your burden I will carry you
I will carry you my child,
Lay down your burden I will carry you
I will carry you my child, my child.

I was reminded of this song today. I once sang it as a duet in a Holy Week service.  I always found it so moving as a song about God’s love, but it takes on such a different poignancy imagining it as a mother singing to her child.  The truth is, we can only carry our children as long as, or when, they allow us to.  As soon as they can walk they wiggle out of our arms to get down and be free of restraint. But when they’re tired they let us carry them again.

I have two great-nieces now, and I love holding them when I get the chance. They is nothing as tender as the pure and absolute trust of a child who rests in your arms and falls asleep on your shoulder.

How can anyone abuse a child?  The abuse of that trust is at least as violent as any abuse perpetrated on a child’s body. A world in which child abuse can happen so often,  and with such impunity in the case of abuse by priests, is a world that can seem overwhelmingly dark, hopeless, airless. I feel responsible for exposing my sons to that world when they became aware of my story; perhaps silence would have been better after all.

Did my abuse help to darken the world in which Malcolm found himself? No doubt. I realize that it was not the reason for his death, but it must have made living a greater struggle for him.  Did he dread a future filled with the same kind of ongoing battle with depression he witnessed in my life?  Did he feel unable to share his struggle for fear he would be adding to my burden? Did he fear having to “carry me?”

I am so sorry Malc, for adding to your pain. I wish I had another chance to carry you and ease your suffering. I love you so much.


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