There is a season or two or more in every year where I am uncomfortably close to my humanity. Right now is that time and I get so tired of this old-man skin I wear, but it’s the only thing that breaks me? And I often feel more like a train wreck than a Life Artist, (even though I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive) a poor, naked wretch of a walking catastrophe, clothed with zagging cracks and spewing fissures. Yet, broken me has found that the purest expression of my union with Christ begins with the acceptance – celebration even – of my wounded side. So instead of running from the pain of it, my legs will always take the flight barreling me into the gale – I’m searching the tempest again for His wild, element-tossed face.
(I imagine the waves and His hair whipping across His eyes while He reaches for me – He’s always reaching for me.)
But this time I didn’t take the flight before I wanted to throw in the towel. No, I mean: I really wanted to throw in the towel last Tuesday. As in: I was lying on my back getting tears in my ears, sobbing like a grown-up baby because there were not good dark things closing in and pressing down; the cloud inside my head and dirt on my shoulders was too much for me to lift-up under. I’m not very good with numbers, but my brain was busy making calculations and I decided that this girl no longer wanted to pony up with her very own pound of flesh. The cost felt too high. I was a dried-up well inside a laid-flat body.
With our mattress supporting me from behind and my eyes beseeching the ceiling and my voice clogged with cry, my insides are dialed to so tender and I may have told the air in general that I didn’t want to live a purposed life anymore; that I’d take a life of careless, abundant ease instead and thankyouverymuch. I didn’t mean it, but I had to speak out anyway, otherwise my soul would’ve suffered under the weight of unspoken, crushing kind of sentiments.
If I am to burn this year, then these are the days of ash. You know how much I like “in other words”: I am up in flames and burning down to cinder dust, but if Singapore can take the ashes of their trash and build a beautiful, habitable island from it, then there is always hope for resurrection from my ashes too – Easter is just around the corner after all.
It’s tempting to not even tell you of my trials because my guilt-tripped mind will remind me that my challenges ain’t got nothin’ on some people’s, but in the words of Josh Garrels, “… we’re all castaways in need of rope, hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope…” We’re in it together, you and me and the neighbor’s niece. So I’m just fine putting the measuring stick in the cabinet where it came from, there’s no place for it in the school of life.
And what a raucous and rigorous school it is, eh? So rowdy it will kick the legs out from you just to see what arse-cheek you’ll land on first, I’m laughing from down here because I’m all cried out. The floor on your face is not a terrible place to be, the perspective changes when you’re down low, that’s for sure. And I know the One with the tempest in His face is reaching for me, I just need to go deeper than the dried-up well to my secret reservoir of WANT.
Oh, I do still want You when the day of not wanting You is over and done with.
I am importantly reminded here of Thornton Wilder’s one-act play “The Angel That Troubled The Waters” and within the lines are these good words: “Without your wounds, where would your power be? It is your wounds that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”
Ahhh, Love’s service… You can have me, if that’s the true case – the wounded being Your select soldiers. You can have me now, again.
And lastly, this whole post summed up would be just like a particular stanza from Josh Garrels song “Farther Along”: Still I get hard pressed on every side // Between the rock and a compromise // Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul // And I’ve got no place left go // Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown // More glory than the world has known // Keeps me ramblin’ on <— click to listen
Ramble with me, will you?