Live Color Fully

today i am excited about everything.

Love Wins

I will always be grateful for therapy.

Years ago, now, I sat in a stale, small, windowless room, with my knees pressed tightly to my chest. I leaned deep into awkwardness, into the past, and into opening my heart, painfully, one stitch at a time.

As often happens with hearts, wide open it bled, it cracked, and I thought it would probably never mend. It was disfiguring. It felt like death.

But the funny thing about damaged hearts? About that tear-stricken pain?

On the other side, the brokenness heals. The open wound begins to close, and this time, there’s nothing slowly decaying underneath.

Stitch by stitch, guided by a woman three times my age (and ultimately, my Creator), I opened myself for the first time to love. To genuine love.

That relationship ended in a car crash similar to that ever-famous scene in Blues Brothers, and yet- this thanksgiving season has me indebted to those college hours. Because there is something new budding in my life, and I catch myself wanting to push back, to build walls, to examine under a microscope with cynicism and disbelief.

Years later, older (but barely wiser), I know both sides of relationship well: open wins.

So instead, I shuffle forward. Small steps, yes, but steps possible because of that teeny room and tenderhearted woman.

(praise).

Leave a comment »

Ganesha, A Clock, The Cross

I sank into the worn leather chair, noticing the streaks of dirt sliding down faded walls. My head swiveled back and forth, looking for… a dog? rat?… something that had left angry looking teeth marks on the edge of the small table holding an assortment of old magazines. In the corner, a statue of the god Ganesha, an orange blinking clock, and a small wooden cross.

“Your car will be ready soon.” His voice cut through the sounds of the cartoon coming out of a small TV.

“Okay- thanks so much!”

A pause. My words weren’t true, as it wasn’t okay to be giving up time or resources- neither of which I have to spare- to something that wasn’t living, breathing.

“You’re a Pastor.” A statement, made in thickly accented English.

“Me? Sort of, yes.”

Another pause. A character on tv shouted out a catch phrase, and a hollow, robotic laugh echoed it.

“You know things about the Bible.” This one, not a question either.

“Umm, I know things. Some things. Do you have a question?” I bit my lip, and my inadequacy stretched out almost visibly between us.

“Is there a word in the Bible for… uh… dark night of the soul? A word that means… a dark place you are in? Not dark like…” he mimed turning off the light… “but dark like…” he dropped off here, furrowing his brow as he searched for the right words.

“Dark like- heavy? Hard? Broken? Alone?” My words tumbled out, lips moving on their own accord.

Our eyes met.

His, dark and deep, speaking strong words of pain, somehow screaming. Silently.

My own, filled with tears.

“Yes. Like that.”

I stood from the chair, and made my way to the counter. My brain twisted and twirled, trying to compute a google-esque answer. My hand covered his.

“I don’t know. Honestly. I don’t know if there’s a word. But… I think, there’s a poem. Written by Saint Thomas, or someone. Can I look it up and bring it to you?” inwardly, I cringed at the emptiness of my words. He looked away, somewhere above my head.

“But- it does mean something. I mean, it exists. The idea of it. A… spiritual crisis. Unanswered longing. Or- journey towards God, becoming more like Christ. The pain of that. The pain when… there aren’t easy answers.” My words come faster now, the pitch of my voice raised. I strain, trying to remember a lecture from a college class, 9 years ago now.

He closed his other hand over mine, silencing my stumbling speech. “Does it end?”

There’s nothing to say in return. I changed the question.

“It’s not pleasant. But it’s not hopeless, either.” Inside, I turn a corner, and see the door I should have stepped through first.

“Could I…? I mean, would you mind if… Can I pray for you?”

He nodded slightly, meeting my eye. He offered no new information, but it doesn’t matter. My brokenness meets his, and surrounded by fluorescent lights and the smell of gasoline, we stand before a Creator. My mind finally stands still, my spirit racing ahead to lay prostrate.

There is a Holiness breathed into this moment.

We break, feeling the awkwardness of intimacy, and the bells dings as I step outside. The sunshine makes my eyes squint, adding to the wrinkles that are stubbornly forming.

I reach my hand into the earth, pulling up a small rock to slip into my purse pocket. Something to hold this moment, to build my growing altar of thanks, to release my inadequacies to a fully adequate Father. A Father who (maybe) (sometimes) resides here.

Just outside the walls of The Church, inside a small business off of Metcalf.

2 Comments »

Fearless

http://weheartit.com/entry/22023761

(I’m still trying to learn this):

More than once I’ve packed my way-too-many possessions into large plastic tubs and started over. And although it doesn’t really get easier, there are new favorite cupcake places and best friends and unforgettable nights waiting right past that “I’m new here” stage.

I no longer sit practicing deep breathing in my car, willing my arm to act independently and please.God. open the door and drag the rest of me into a place filled with strangers.

There’s always that moment- that shuddering moment where a choice must be made.

A choice between tucking in, and clenching the jaw muscles and pushing forward.

A choice between living a little, or living fully.

There’s no trick to it. The only thing stopping you-me- any of us?

Fear.

It’s Fear, with its blackened teeth and dirty fingernails, smelling of rotting fish and day old diapers, creeping around the corner and threatening the freedom that adventure brings.

There’s an art to living that requires (more than) a bit of fearlessness.

And- I’m only speaking to myself now- the moments that I let fear win, when I can’t muster the courage to try, I miss out.

There’s no way around that, or over it, or under it.

To live passionately, to embrace the beauty and fullness of life, to run hard after a Creator who can dream so much bigger than me, is to punch fear. In the face, probably.

And walk away giggling, arms linked with Fearlessness. Who I’m just getting to know, but I see the wind blowing through her long hair, and her fingernails? They’re hot pink.

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience. Paulo Coelho.

Leave a comment »