Thursday, March 26, 2009
On the Rock
This time we're sitting on a long flat rock. Like last time the white foamy waves crash against the sandy shore, but we're on my harder ground today.
"The whole rock thing is a little cliche, don't you think?" I say.
"You have to admit it's effective. You understood what I was getting at right away, didn't you?"
"It doesn't make me feel any safer."
He is. He really is my foundation. My strong place. My stability. My rock sure isn't my knowledge of scripture or theology. It's simply Him, and I realize despite how fragile I feel, I'm safe. But I want to act childish anyway.
"You were with me back in the day, and look what happened."
And before I can even get it out of my mouth I'm right back there, in that empty old house on the dusty, bare mattress covered by the yellow blanket. I hate that blanket. Let's just say it failed to cover my shame. I go back to the rock. Fast!
"It's not the blanket you hate," Jesus says, reading my mind. The breeze tousles his hair.
"You don't hate him, either."
And it's true. I don't. Sometimes I think it'd be much simpler if I did, but we don't talk about who I really hate, or even who I love right now, Jesus and I. He won't make me say that. It's been days getting me here. He's actually trying not to run me off, as if I could escape His presence. I'm the one who joked, "I made so many beds in hell they thought I was the chambermaid down there." But God was with me. It isn't funny today. At all.
No, we don't talk about who I hate or love.
"So, why do I keep doing it?"
I sigh. "You know exactly what I'm talking about, Lord."
"Why do you have to drag me through this?"
"Because you don't listen."
"Must you be so blunt? I'm listening now."
"I don't want you to listen now. I want you to talk to me."
It's futile to argue with God, though he tolerates me. But sometimes I get tired of myself. In fact, I'm tired of me a lot. "Okay, I made some kind of contact with him. It's not as bad as usual, but it was something. A little thing. A tiny thing really. You do realize all my girlfriends just rolled their eyes and groaned, "Not again!"
"No, they'll be praying. Well, a few are thinking it, but they love you. They know you're wounded."
"I'm sick of being wounded. I want to be a lioness. ROOOOOOOOOOAR!!!!!!!!" Did you know he taught me how to do that? It was one of the best memories I have with him."
"That wasn't a very pleasant sound, coming from you. You don't roar, my love."
"It wasn't authentic. You're more like a kitty cat. You make sad, lonely people happy. I love kittens, you know."
"You seem like a dog person, " I say.
"You're suggesting I don't love you?"
"Of course not."
"Then act like I do. Don't romanticize what he thought you should be. What is your favorite scripture?"
"Blessed are the poor in spirit."
"You don't have to roar. Being you is good. What did I tell you earlier?"
"You said when I make contact when I'm upset, I'm going right back to the source of my woundedness. And honestly, I never thought about that until you said it. It's like I'm more comfortable with the wounded me, than the healed me. But, you know, not in a good way." Then I think of something else interesting. "You know, I heard in some Latin American countries, in the place somebody dies they throw up a big, white cross."
He chuckles, knowing what's coming.
"What if I just put a big cross in his yard? I won't set it on fire. It'd be, like, a memorial thing."
Now Jesus is really laughing. "First of all, what happened didn't kill you, although sometimes you act as if it did. And it didn't happen at the house where he lives now. You'd go to jail. If you have to go to jail, it should be for a better reason than that."
"I wouldn't go to the crazy house?"
"You aren't crazy, love."
"You called me love, again. I like that."
"Me, too. I'd have called you that all week, but you've been avoiding Me."
"Way to call me out on my blog, Lord."
"It's what I do. So tell me about the cross you won't be putting in Joe's yard."
"It's just a thought. Maybe I need to mark the spot. But I had the wrong spot in mind, apparently. You know, when you started telling me you wanted to heal me, I thought you'd want to deal with that Gabriel stuff. Opps. I said his name."
"They don't know him."
"I don't even know him. Thank God. No pun, intended. Anyway, and I told Carly what I realized I was doing--what You told me I was doing--and she said maybe it all started with Joe. Like the whole thing with Gabby wouldn't have happened if the Joe thing hadn't have happened first."
And just like that we're not on the rock anymore listening to the water. And I'm back at that damned house again, on that mattress with him, and Jesus is right there.
"Will this ever end? Like, seriously, Lord!" I yell from the mattress. "Didn't I go there--or here--five years ago with You? I've thought you healed me a thousand times. Why isn't this over?"
"A lot of damage was done, love, and consider this: most of it is over. There's just a little residue I need to clean up."
"I'm not up for this."
"You don't have to stay here." And we're back on the rock again. And I'm a little salty with Jesus.
"Why did you make me do that?"
"I didn't make you. You went there, but that was all you could do today. Tell me about what you read today."
"I read in the Sue Monk Kidd book about a little bird that crashed into her window. She and her kids went outside with it. The bird was stunned, but not broken, and she just needed to sit with the pain for a little while. But I'm not like that bird. I'm broken in a million pieces, and you know it!"
"You're not as bad as you think. I've done a lot of healing on you. You don't see it because you've been stunned since Lexington. You didn't think I'd move. You've hoped and waited for so long, and now it looks like I'm giving you all that you asked for. In fact, you see I've been giving it to you all along, and you don't know what to do with that. You still have pain, but I've done wonders in you."
That's why I'm not in his arms screaming. That's why I'm not throwing myself in the water. He takes my wrists in His hands and tenderly, with such exquisite deliberateness, kisses the two words over my scars: love on my left wrist, and love on my right. All I do is sigh, but it's a deep cleansing sigh full of relief and pleasure.
"My head won't stop hurting."
"It will soon."
"Are you sure I'm going to be all right?"
"You can trust me on it. We're just going to sit here together with this pain."
"Until it's time to do something else."
"Okay," I say, and He lets me have the last word. I look at the water. The waves crash before us, a violent ebb and flow, but that's the way of things. A lot happens, the sea seems brutal if you're
fearful and don't understand nature. If you don't respect it, but it isn't scary. It's just water, rising and falling, tide going in and out.
I breathe in and out, and don't think about a think.
I don't think about a damned thing.