Death bursts on to the scene, forcing you to take attention, requiring you to question everything; like an unwanted stalker it appears, steals the spotlight, and burns it to the ground.
Smoke and ashes remain, like an *asterix on your life. Always there. Always a clause. The fine print. A fine print that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops so everyone can understand why you do the things you do… why you are so awkward… why you’re not normal.
Oh, it’s not just death that has left things unaltered.
Anxiety is a devil all its own.
It lurks, eyeing its prey, taking it down before it even gave second glance. You’ll learn its name someday, learn to curse it away, and slaughter it with a sword you didn’t know how to use.
But it’s with bloody knuckles and bruised knees that you’ll do so, and the scars will both remind you of where you’ve been . . . and remind you of how far you’ve come.
We all have a story.
A mile long.
Like a train we drag behind, but not one of lace and promise.
Like a dreadful burden, that was never easy to carry… but threatens to break the bones after years. Like a withered limb that we love and hate. Crawling we come.
And just as suddenly, like the crack of stone, like the rumble of earth years unmoved, violently thrust up revealing layers of past and present and future… something else appears. If you stared at this momentous happening, it would blind your eyes, leave you grasping for reason and logic and finding none.
It covers that list, stroke after stroke of blood-red paint.
A Crafter’s hand, an Artist’s eye, a Creator’s power, swiftly moving over the story. Over the list. Over each *asterix until they are changed.
That train, that burden, that withered limb … it becomes a masterpiece.
Oh, don’t ask me how. I could never explain the glory of a dawning morning. The warmth of an embrace that should never have been. The crash of the oceanic against the rocks of ages. They are mysteries, just as the story of how the Creator redeemed the story.
I’ll never grasp how a crippled soul like me, could jump and leap in the presence of a King. I’ll never comprehend how one who doubts like I, could be privileged to hear His whispers. In all of the earth, why does He waste time on me?
There it was again. Did you hear it?
LOVE called my name.
It is above me. Beyond me. Out of my mental grasp how any of this could be so. It defies everything. But I am not what was. I am not what is. I am not what will be.
I don’t know where it went, all those labels that were apart of me. The photographic memories of days long past are no longer worn like a badge.
Somehow, I have become His child.
I don’t know when it happened… or was it always this way?
Was I His child when I knelt in the kitchen, age seven, so tenderly innocent, and gave Him my heart?
Was I His child when my mom died? Her eyes staring into mine, her hand grasping mine? Was I His child when I lived through the horrific?
Was I His child when the days were long and hard and there was no light at the end of a very dark and lonely tunnel? Clinging to faith with white-knuckled fists?
Am I His child now? A weary mother who feels like the greatest of hypocrites?
I am His child because He is my Father.
My story remains, but this crippled soul has run and fallen into the arms of Jesus. Look at Him! Look through me to the one that has spoken promise, woven healing, cleansed the tragedies, and been faithful every. single. day. Look at how He makes things NEW. Look at how He puts a song in my heart!
How does He do this? I don’t know. I don’t understand. But this story, this history, those tragedies have been paid-in-full. He’s taken them upon Himself. My wounds are now His, and my withered hands are… strong. My memories remain, but they are draped with LOVE. Seeped with LOVE. For LOVE was always there. And where there is LOVE there is life.
Look to LOVE.
See His story.
See His faithfulness.
Will you fall into His arms, and just see what He can do with a crippled soul like you? Just see… what He… can do.
One day we’ll gather together with Him, for a feast. And we’ll look around that table and we wont see the scars, the wounds, the withered limbs… because they wont be there anymore.
We’ll only see Him.
We’ll only have eyes for LOVE.