May 27, 2015

Wounded Holy

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When our bones break, when our hearts bleed, when we’re cut and insides gutted, we cry out in pain, with groans words cannot express, sharp intake of breath and gasping for air in between the shudders. There is a terrible loneliness across those aching nights, the hours that stretch without starlight. And oftentimes, when we are sunk deep in the mire, arms tethered to our sides so we are unable to reach out for help, we wonder when the day will break, if it will ever arrive at all. Into the night we go, shrouded eyesight, fluttering soul with wings beating to still fly alive.

Then the questions begin, slow and swirling. Where have my footsteps fallen? What can become of the mess that is me? How can I lift from this pit when my soul hangs weighed, falls heavy?

Relentless these questions continue, javelins thrust into our hearts, squeezing our veins to pinch off blood flow. The days that groan, hours lost and abandoned. Weeks switch to months; months slip into years. And so it goes, this stifling veil of life between our ribs. Of corroded hope and rusting faith, flailing prayers from shaking lips to the ear of God, pleading for the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf, because Lord knows we can’t make it there on our own.

Where does this path stretch? How is there healing through tremoring hurt? Hope of revival squeezes tight, smaller in sight while a saddening thought that this empty heart is here to stay slides in. We settle underneath this bruising weight of loss.

Yet something stirs holy through the dark. Soft and quiet, intentionally weaving through the stitches. While suffering hammers into our tender spots, it is wielded by love, by a suffering that saves us from ourselves and delivers us into the arms of our sought after comfort. In pain, in shadowed desire, the uncertainty that spills from our hearts, we are not far from the divine. Always, our scars stretch holy.

It’s the refiner’s fire, hot and scorching, leaving scars that bend and roll us into another shape, another form, another change altogether. Broken down is the only way we begin to rebuild, become a new life, a better image. We are not the same once we collapse, once our layers are stripped away and peeled to bare flesh.

To touch with fingers feeling for the first time a new skin, supple earth that collects and forms within our hands. To see with eyes unveiled, blinking at the intensity of sunlight. To loosen the hold on our dreams and plans, set them in a stream and watch them glide with the current around the bend, out of sight. And to look up and step on a new path, one that’s still carving through the ground as we walk, bare-hearted and awakened, ready to trust this new beginning to the hands of Him who was, and is, and is to come.

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