A thickness long since settled on my heart like an eclipse of discouragement that hovered in front of the light source. Like the lid of a jar that you just can't unscrew, it gripped firmly to the edges of my life, all smug like. I felt its pressure in every direction, and as if I was a mime in a "box," I let it contain me for a time.
Suffocating from perceptions and expectations and possibly inventions of an overly active imagination, hurt and disappointment seemed my new trusted sidekicks. I had filed in line behind them and grabbed them by the hand - happy to have something, anything beside me.
Yes, desperation, I'm not too proud to admit I've acted foolish in your name at times, cementing a brick wall around myself, keeping others out and myself in. Safety is over-rated, though, and the Lord never promised that when we enter in relationship we will leave as in-tact as we arrived, all bright-eyed and whole feeling. The true wholeness happens when we find ourselves disillusioned and wrecked, but allow God to move us past that to the uncomfortable stretchy part that leans us closer to maturity.
Sometimes when the despair eclipse stalemates, we have to ask God to change our vantage point, moving us to a place where the light streaks out all blaze-of-glory like, blinding and beautiful and divine. That place is not a place of put-togetherness, of family photos with clothing coordinated with the dappled light of the glowing sun kissing everyone's face just so - it's a place of raw meets real meets broken, that place that we blockade the door to that wing of our life so that NO ONE can know or see or go there. It's like the snotty, snorty, red -eyed, bleary - eyed kind of wildly-out-of-control cry that most of us don't want to show another human being, all broken up, mottled and ugly.
BUT, it's the very place where God says, "Come here, dear one. I've been waiting for you. What took you so long? Your ugly spot(s) don't scare me. My son is the ultimate blemish remover and for that reason you are perfectly you and I love you. Come sit with me."
I don't mind if I sound kooky saying that because I KNOW what a beautiful moment that is when our crap is revealed in front of a Holy God, and it changes nothing and everything in the same moment. Nothing because He already knows our secrets, how He knit us together and what we've done apart from Him, and everything because there is such unconditional love and freedom in being completely exposed and completely accepted simultaneously. OH MIME - there is NO BOX!!!! You are free.
No matter what the world says, or how messed up the circumstances, or the depth of depravity involved, God is a God of redemption and restoration, of grace and mercy, of humility and compassion, and there is nothing that can eclipse that.
God, would you eclipse my life - covering me over so that it is only YOU that is seen? Would you forgive me for letting discouragement distract me from loving YOU with all that I am and from sharing YOU with others? Would you continue to meet me in the ugly places and transform me to YOUR likeness? Thank you for loving me enough to not leave me as I am. Amen.