The wound that blinds

It's one of those mornings when you just keep putting the kettle on. The hot water burbles out of the cracked teapot spout, and the bag steeps it's stems and pods, and you lift it until the brown liquid slows to a drip and drop the spent bag onto the saucer, a brown wet spot on a pile of orange dried ones, a whole pile of teabags to propel you through this morning. The cream swirls caramel through the comfort and you sigh as you lift it to your lips and try to focus deep on this one small pleasure amid a sea of pain and ugliness. Raw.


Nothing seems to come into focus these days. You blink and rub your eyes and you still see shadows and colored blur and there is no clear path and no sharpness to the images that race like sand through those windows of your soul, time in fast forward and you failing to catch any of it long enough to focus.


It's a hard thing to come to the bottom of another pit and find your brokenness and own it. Own that you can't mother these kids the way you wish you would. Own that your house falls into entropy every single day. Own that your husband cries sometimes, because of you. Own that you'd rather stay up late into the night just to get a breath of aloneness. Own your loneliness. Own the old scars and the wounds you thought healed that open their festering again, despite the washing of the Blood and the debridement of the years of scalding repentance. 


Did you really think if you reframed it again, you'd understand it? You've tried looking straight at it before, and it's just a bloody old wound that doesn't breathe purpose. Those wounds from your childhood, the times you beat your head against the road because the pain of the body was preferable to the pain of the soul?


You bite your lip again, and the blood runs, and you wash the new wounds with tea. Close your eyes and breathe one word. Thanks. And the beauty rushes back like the heavens opening up right on top of your head, and the weight lifts when you tilt back your head. You're not ready to talk to God today. But He still washes over you. No words. Just sensation, like the weight of a whole winter's growth of warmth against the winds Satan blows cold into your soul. The wind still blows. Sharp as a knife, and sometimes it gets through the armor that's grown over baby soul skin, shaggy ugly but safe. Somehow He wants the baby soul skin still soft and vulnerable. At least he puts the shaggy ugly over it. He doesn't leave you naked in the wind.


You tilt your ears back, too, to listen for the Word from the one you can't speak to today. Where were you when I was hurting? Why do you cloak purpose in sorrow like a seed in the snow, down deep where I can't see it, and ask me just believe it's there


The swayed back that's carried a thousand burdens still stands strong in this storm, too. Somehow.


And the face bruised and broken, bristled with cold, it's still velvet beauty, too. Somehow.


No matter how much you want to lie down and rest, you just keep pouring down the tea. The wheels keep turning in your brain and you are the silent thinker standing motionless while your body moves through the day. The kids whirl like painted tops and skitter through the mess of the hardwood floors, and the tea bags dry in the morning's pale winter sun, and the clocks tick, and it all registers slow. Bleeds through the winter weight of shaggy armor you've grown out from your soul in desperate anguish. Somewhere deep in the still brain dawns the realization that when you protect you don't just shut out Satan's cold wind. You shut out Truth and Beauty. Numbness is no way to live.

You pick up the book you threw across the bedroom floor last night and run your fingers over the rumpled tear tracks. In this present winter of the soul, alone in the warm yellow house with the phone silent on the hanger and the cell phone minutes piling up with unuse, for some reason the wounds open, and you know He wants you to scrub them out again. Alone with Him. Aching. Few friends to wrap like blankets around your cold shoulders. Just you, and that strange warmth, and that sharp evil wind. Alone down here at the bottom of this old pit you've left lay there so long you don't recognize the walls of it. 

The numbness recedes and the pain is hot and white again. As you throw off that fur coat and close your eyes to your nakedness, you realize it's not cold in here. You're in a warmth you never could have made with your shells and your coats, your wool and your shrugged tight shoulders and the hugging yourself against that old cold wind. It stirs like an ancient memory, that once long ago people walked around like this, naked. Didn't care. Were beautiful, image bearers walking close to the Image. 

You drop the bruised old sore into the hot Living Water and the pain at first is blinding. But as you stay there, under that Water, soak in that Water, let the Words wash over the old wounds, it recedes. And you reach down to touch the fresh white flesh washed white as snow and the fear recedes, too. The numbness leaches out. And you tilt your head back again and breath that one word, the only one you can squeeze out of your tired soul today. Thanks.


You're gonna cry yourself to sleep.
You're gonna soak the pillow for many weeks.
You're gonna cry...Why? Why me?
But in spite of the ache that doesn't go away
You'll be sharing your story one rainy day
and at the next table somebody catches your words.
He hears a truth he's never heard.
He takes it back to the marriage he'd given up on.
Hands it down to his daughter, who writes it in a song.
You didn't know.

A thousand things are happening in this one thing
Like a thousand fields nourished by a single drop of rain
So honey, wrap yourself in promise while you wait for the morning light
A thousand things are happening tonight.

You're gonna cry yourself to sleep.
'Cause for the moment all that you can see is what is lost, lost
Why me?
But in the midst of the most exquisite pain
You're drawn into a peace that you cannot explain.
And the praises you sing of a sovereign God
reach the girl whose last hope is gone
She never thought there was purpose in anything here.
Now the seed has been planted and it's taking root
You didn't know.
You're gonna cry yourself to sleep.
A thousand miracles you'll have to wait to see.
~A Thousand Things, Christa Wells~