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Hannah had her

            period

in cycles

like

infinite loops

of the same death

sentence: you

will never be a mom

            period.

are a barren stump

            period.

always period.

never a comma.

a period.

no exclamation.

But blood led Hannah

to worship, though wordless

her life His

            period.

Apparently periods aren’t periods

in the hand of God

life soon swam inside

and Hannah’s song

echoed history’s halls

and Mary’s mouth, the Magnificat

filled the mother of Messiah

           he was a barren stump

           cut off before bloom

           no descendants, doomed

           to death sentence

                        period.

           But on a bloody, barren tree

           became fruitful womb

           birthing children

           from every nation

           filling the mouths

           of would-be moms

            with

           a more magnificent song:

“By His blood

I am the mother

of many sons and daughters

By His blood

I am honored

both child and mother

            period.”

I wrote my poem “Period.” as an encouragement to Christian women who are making disciples for Jesus. I particularly want to encourage women who struggle through infertility, child loss, and other heartaches, which can feel particularly pronounced on Mother’s Day.

Jesus laid his life down and picked it up again so that sinners like us could be received as beloved children of God through faith in him (John 1:12). Not only that, he made it possible for barren women to become mothers of many through the commission he gave us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Disciple makers are fathers and mothers. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we can rejoice in our inheritance: “a monument and a name better than sons and daughters […] that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 56:5).

Just as Paul could call Timothy his “true child in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2), so we can mother and father disciples of Jesus. This kind of parental bond cannot be threatened by sin or death because disciples of Christ will live forever together with him.

My prayer is that this short poem will be a soul catalyst for you, erupting in praise to the God who “gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children” in Christ (Psalm 113:9).

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