Dear God, please forgive my daughters’ first mother. I know that isn’t what I used to ask from you. I know I said I wanted her to burn in hell. I know I cried out for justice for my children rather than mercy for her. I told you I wanted her to experience every bit of pain that she caused her children.
Here’s the thing, God; I think she already did. I should have never sat in judgment over someone whose history I didn’t know. I had no right to plead for your anger on the head of someone whose acts I knew, but whose history I couldn’t imagine.
Dear God, she never had a chance to know you! She never had a chance.
I understand that you already know this, but she grew up in the same orphanages that my daughters did. She was abandoned by her parents, just like my daughters were. And since she grew up in the same orphanage as my oldest daughter, she must have been subjected to the same horrors by her peers. She must have been… Dear God, I can’t even say it. How could she have survived? Was there ever anyone to love her? I mean, I know that you did. But she didn’t know you. She wouldn’t have understood or felt that love! Dear God, she never had a chance to know you! She never had a chance.
Nobody ever taught her how to be a mother, God. It wasn’t her fault. I can’t imagine the pain of rejection she lived as a child, because her parents abandoned her. I can’t fathom how abuse throughout her life must have devastated her. How could she not have used substances to numb that pain? That’s what did it, God. It wasn’t her. It was the chemicals that she couldn’t live without.
If some of her daughters’ reactions to childhoods like hers are any indicator, she could not have been mentally whole, God. Please don’t judge her as you would someone whose mind is clear and undamaged!
They treated her as she treated those children. Dear God, how can anyone survive without love and mercy?
She was too young to have children, God. Even in the best of circumstances. She was only sixteen when the orphanage threw her into the street. She wouldn’t have survived had she not sold the only thing she had to sell! And to be subject to such abuse and degradation, as a nineteen year-old mother, must have been overwhelming. But how was she supposed to support that child? There was only one thing she could do. Dear God, please forgive her! And to have five hungry children before her twenty-fifth birthday… of course she couldn’t feed them. I know now why they starved.
By then it was too late for my daughters’ mother, God. Nothing in this world could have undone the consequences of her actions; even the ones that affected her children. I know those children needed to be taken away so they would have the chance to live. But I can’t imagine their mother’s pain when that happened. Dear God, she couldn’t have experienced that without being damaged. It’s no wonder that things got even worse for her next two children. She must have been shredded when they took them away, too. And no one showed her mercy. They treated her as she treated those children. Dear God, how can anyone survive without love and mercy?
Things could have been so much different. Dear God, someone could have adopted that angry little girl.
Dear God, I know what I asked you. I know that I wanted her to see the same flames that her daughter saw when the mother threw her on that wood-burning stove. I know I said I wanted her to feel all of that pain along with the pain from every cigarette shoved into the flesh of my daughters, God. But I don’t anymore. My daughters’ first mother was a violent person, but only because she came from a violent world. She died when she was only thirty-four. No one would tell me how it happened. They only told me that I knew how people like that lived.
I do. I do know how people like my daughters’ first mother live, God. They live a life of hell. Please don’t send her to hell, God. She has already lived there. She has already experienced far more pain than I could have ever wished on her. Since she received hell before it was merited, please show that poor woman mercy.
It wasn’t her fault, God. No one helped her. No one taught her. No one showed her a better way and no one gave her a chance. Things could have been so much different. Dear God, someone could have adopted that angry little girl. A family who had more than they needed could have given her their family. They could have found therapists to help her. They could have taught her about your love. If that little girl had been given a family of her own, her parents would have taught her how to be a mother. They would have taught her how to raise children and they would have helped her when she felt overwhelmed. But no one did that, God.
And now we witness the lives that have been ravaged because good people didn’t go out of their way to do more. I ask you; Dear God… Whose fault is that? Who deserves justice and who deserves mercy? I’ll leave that up to you. You are the only one who can judge fairly. I failed so miserably when I judged my daughters’ first mother. I was so wrong when I called for your anger.
Now I ask you to save that little girl who grew into nothing more or less than what others turned her into. But don’t send her to hell, God. She already lived there too long.
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