Monday, July 26, 2004


I have scars on my wrists. On the left wrist, the line is jagged and unsure. I cut that one first, probably because I'm right handed. I wasn't committed to the idea of killing myself just yet. By the time I got to my right wrist, it was little easier. That one is a clean, determined line, made once the shock of seeing the red beads of blood seep through my open flesh had died down.

The scars are very faint now, and I don't think about them much. Though, there are occassions when I'm handing money to a cashier, or something to a colleague at work, and I find myself hoping that they don't notice. No one has ever asked me about them, though. I guess it would be impolite to do so.

I remember that awful day, and the startling ordinariness of it. The sun rose, just as expected. I got up, started my day, went to work, just like today, the exception being I go to work at night now, and leave when the sun rises.

And then something went wrong, just like today. It was work related. Like today. I felt sad and hopeless, like today. I had Jesus, like today. So, why am I not dragging razor blades across my wrists?

I don't know. Maybe because like that day, I really don't want to die. You gotta admit, slicing your wrists the wrong way is a pretty punk attempt at ending your life. Maybe because I've grown up since then. Or maybe because even though I'm about to be fired, and I'm worried about how I'll feed my kids and keep a roof over our heads, I know somehow that Jesus will help. He'll have pity on me, because I don't have anything left but Him. And I'm not above the embarassment of throwing myself, hard, on His mercy.

Many people would find the idea of God pitying them about as distasteful as ragamuffins confessing their suicide attempts in their blogs. Unfortunately, I've told you all such awful things about myself it really doesn't matter that you know one more. I like God's pity. I find it somehow comforting. Besides, this raga is still here. There are no razor blades in my hands, which I stopped typing with to lift toward Heaven in thanksgiving, scars and all. I've discovered something that young raga was still struggling to discover. Jesus loves me. He has pity. He won't mind being my hiding place, and God knows, I've taken to my bed and am hiding like a fugitive today.

And here you are. Young raga didn't have friends like you. Isn't this an amazing thing? On this sad and scary day I can count on a community of people that I honestly believe love me. You show up, read, talk to me. You send me prayers, and tell me how you want to hug me. You quote the Word, and send me e-mails that let me know that I'm not alone. Jesus, I don't have to do this alone. I don't have to hurt myself, because all of you are here. Here with Jesus, and I know you're here. Thanks for coming. You don't know how much I need you. I won't be making new scars today.

But, I am crying all over my keyboard, so I'll stop writing and go get more tissue to blow my nose. The last thing I need is to ruin my laptop with all this snot and tears. So goodbye friends, if you don't see more for a while, I'm just seeking my sanctuary in Him.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation." (Psalms 91:14-16 The Message)

I'll see you at the party. I'll be at the bar, drunk with His salvation.

God's raga


SteveW said...

Drink up Claudia. Glad you're still with us and glad that you want to stay.

Will said...

Thank you, Jesus, that we will get to party some more with raga here and that we will all be partying together with you into eternity.

Geo said...

Oh my dear sister Raga how I and we love you! While we may not touch physically we have touched in Spirit. I am so proud that I have been given the privelege (sp?) of knowing you. My mother-in-law 2 1/2 years ago decided that life was not worth the pain and used a gun and one bullet to end it. Your story reminds me of how each decision we make everyday has lasting consequences for us and the ones we love. Oh how I wish I could tell my mother-in-law one more time that I loved her but I can't!
But I can telL you again, I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! And am giving you a HUGE HUG in the Spirit as I type this.


radioreb said...

Sometimes I have to praise God for scars. Reminders of our frailty, our brokenness, our vulnerability. They also remind me that for each hurt, healing was in the plan all along. I was never meant for open wounds, but healed ones. Each one, rough to the touch, is a reminder of that healing even as I may stand in utter darkness. Scars you can just feel. I thank God for your scars, Claudia. You constantly remind me how great life is and how amazing God must be. Each time I see "raga" in my inbox, I can't stop the smile which forms instantaneously. Somehow, through your scars, you bring joy. You bring laughter. You ooze profound strength, be it ever so gentle.

Jesus has scars. He didn't do them himself, but he didn't stop them either. His scars, like yours, remind me of sacrifice, of redemption, of great love and caring committment.

God, bless my friend Diva...please. Take care with her, showering her with your grace and love that feels like pity and understanding. Lord, surround her kids with your spirit of comfort and wisdom, that each one would recognize that the scars of their mother are those of an apostle sent by God to be Jesus here. Bless her and heal her, Jesus. Prop her up as you do when we can't stand and send her out as you do when you give us strength to dance for you. Let her dance, Lord. Let her dance. Please. All glory and praise is for you, Daddy...

upwords said...


How magnificent they are. How horrible. I laugh and cry with you as always, thinking, "She had the courage for razors?" I was not so courageous. Yet I remember the grit in my mouth of activated charcoal. The vacancy in my mother's eys. "She's been having some, uh, problems." I'd have laughed then, if I wasn't already dead.

Sometimes now, on a summer day, when my children are smiling and ribs are sizzling on the grill, sometimes the taste of charcoal fills my mouth, the scent of death sifts through my nappy hair. I cry then, knowing that He loved me, even then. People used to wonder why I always cried when turning the ribs. No one asks anymore. They just smile.

One thing about scars, the make the good stuff taste better.

I hate it about your job, Sis. I do. But I can only hope that it will somehow lead to sharing who you are with every woman on this planet, be it on paper or in person. Your scars have tenderized you into a choice delicacy, seldom found in this wretched world.

Much love,
Marilynn Griffith

jen lemen said...

i love this post so much.
thank you for being honest and for writing it.

Candy said...

I got here thru jen lemen's blog and I'm so glad I came. How I love the honesty and tears and clinging you so gallantly portray thru your words. You are transparent in an opaque world and it is exceedingly refreshing. Climb up in His lap and let Him lavish His love on you, Raga. I'll see you on the next barstool!

bobbie said...

you have touched me deeply - twice today. i read your post on seeds and story this morning and when i received my ys update your scars entry was the featured blog. i too have struggled with suicide. you have given me the courage to perhaps begin to blog on this thank you.

DailyLinks said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a Cold Sore site/blog. It pretty much covers Cold Sore related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)