Will you walk with me?

Abba-

I had been invited to the home of two of my guy friends. It was  a summer day and I was outside helping one of their siblings in the garden. I returned to the house on an errand for her brother. As I approached the doorway, I heard this conversation:

“I just don’t know what to do…Brennen loves the Lord so much.  She would be perfect if only she weren’t so ugly. “

My quick intake of breath draws attention to my presence in the shadows of the doorway. My brothers immediately rise to their fleet, several emotions fleeting across their face, but one refusing to be subdued: guilt.

I don’t say anything–I just turn and run. I don’t say goodbye to the little sister I have come to love or the two men of God whom I have unknowingly given the power to hurt me so deeply.

I just run.

I don’t get very far before the one that said such stinging words catches me. He doesn’t know what to do to quiet me as I struggle against his restraint. And in one act that was so foolish it could only have been ripped from a Blockbuster movie, he tries to kiss me. I immediately shove him away, trembling with feelings of fury and shame. I scream at the top of my lungs,

How dare you? I have waited 26 years to give that away. No one gets to just take what I am not willing to give. My body belongs to my husband and you are not him!

I can’t process it all–the humiliating comment about my appearance, the degrading physical act that served more as a salt in a gaping wound than salve– the increasingly hostile accusations that the two men whom I love as brothers are now flinging at one another. As the fists begin to fly so too does the tiny streams of blood that have begun to trickle down their faces, faces now gnarled and contorted with rage.

Everything goes silent as if You had put the world on mute.

Everything except the broken sobs of the little sister…or are those broken cries coming from within me?

————————

It was a disturbing dream that worked to reinforce a lie that I have succumbed to all my life:

i am too ugly to love, no matter how much i love You

But when I woke up this morning, I decided that  You and I would rewrite the dream together. Would You walk with me? Would You hold my hand, put the dream on pause, and let me show You where I think freedom can be had?

We would walk past the flying fists, before the moment when he tried to kiss me, down the gravel road I had sprinted away on and back into the house where it all began.

Would You come back to the doorway and stand with me there as I hear those stinging words again:

“I just don’t know what to do…Brennen loves the Lord so much.  She would be perfect if only she weren’t so ugly. “

Yes, it still stings, but it is different this time. I can now feel Your arms protectively holding me to Your chest, shielding me from the full force of the arrow. I am no longer tempted to run for You are with me.

Instead, I just look at them–really look at them.  And I see it.

I see their brokenness. I see the deep pain behind the careles comment of one and the fear of man that bound the other to silence.  I see two boys desperate and striving to be men in a world of absent and imperfect fathers.

I see. And I feel.

I feel anger towards their fathers who weren’t there.
I feel sadness to see the paper chains that often hold them captive.
I feel compassion for their struggle. 
I feel love for my two brothers who are trying to be men of God in a world where  they are lacking.
And I feel forgiveness, for You have forgiven me Abba that I might forgive others. 

So this time, I don’t run. Instead, I echo the same words that have been spoken to me over and over and over and over again.

“I forgive you.”

Love,

The Girl in the Corner

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