As you can see from the photos, a box turtle came calling, this afternoon. Brave, he was, and friendly; he didn't tuck into his shell even when Baby Charleigh picked him up and gave him a little shake.
I started thinking, again, about the things that shake me. Also about the temptation to self-medicate when I am being shaken. I want to slap a layer of something over my pain; I want to bury my pain under a little alcohol, nicotine, sugar.
But Jesus coaxes: Don't bury what hurts you. Name it. I'm asking you to show Me what I already see and explain to Me what I already understand. I'm asking you to lay it, bare, in front of Me. So I can give you My peace.
And I tell Jesus: it hurts me to have been six days without my son. I want him back. I want to hold him.
Jesus says: Peel back a layer. We both know that's not all.
I say: I'm afraid. I'm afraid he won't come back. Sometimes they don't come back! Uncle Allen didn't come back. Cody didn't come back. Just last week, Gene didn't come back!
Jesus says: The spirit of fear doesn't come from Me. I've told you before: I love Cade more than you do! He invited Me into his heart, and I live there; don't you trust My plan for his life?
I say: no. I don't.
Jesus says: There it is. You've named what hurts you: mistrust. You want to clutch Cade, cover him up, claim him. But he belongs moreso to Me than to you because, remember, I live in the very center of his heart. You need to learn to love him differently. So I can give you My peace.
I cry out to Jesus: I can't. I'm in pain. I can't do it.
And Jesus whispers: Your pain is not from Me; your fear is not from Me; and your desire to coat and cover all of it, along with Cade, is not from Me.
To Have Without Holding - Marge Piercy
Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.
It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.
It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.
I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.
Cade's and My Nephew CJ's Baptism - 12/27/07
Mindy Smith - "Come to Jesus" - (brilliant)
My God-sent Visitor