How God sees us

I imagine my Father singing this song to me.
I identify with nearly every word.
Through the cross, I am redeemed.
The cross is my escape, 
my sanctuary 
and my hope.


Made a wrong turn, once or twice.
Dug my way out, blood and fire.
Bad decisions, that's alright.
Welcome to my silly life.



Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood.
Miss 'No way, it's all good', it didn't slow me down.
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated.
Look, I'm still around.


Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than perfect.
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you're nothing,
You're perfect to me

You're so mean when you talk about yourself; you were wrong.
Change the voices in your head; make them like you instead.
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game.
It's enough; I've done all I can think of.
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.


Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than perfect.
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you're nothing,
You're perfect to me.

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear.
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer.
So cool in line, and we try try try, 
but we try too hard and it's a waste of my time.
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere.
They don't like my jeans; they don't get my hair.
Exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time.
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?


Yeah, oh, oh baby, pretty baby
Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than perfect.


~ Pink, Perfect (clean version) ~


In a new church, making new friends. It's stressful. Through this season of depression and anxiety, paranoia quickly grips. Do they really care about me - love me, as they constantly affirm - or am I going to be saying goodbye to them in 8 years?


I sit out with a friend and we build a fire and share painful memories. Flashbacks call me out of our conversation and into the scary places in my soul.


We laugh, too. And weep. I think back to a recent message at church, that "two-edged" sword of God's Gospel literally translates to "scalpel". I am rent open with the scalpel and I find a tiny little agate of trust there in the middle of a heart that has always had trouble with trust. I look into the wound and I bleed blackness out.


I pick paintbrushes and drawing pencils and try to put things into pictures when I cannot put them into words. It works, this confession in acrylics and redemption in drawing.


But as the shell grows back around this aching heart, I am so tempted to build the walls back up, silence the storm with the iron grip of numbness. 


My friends, my family...they draw me out and back into the circle of belief. They don't see me as a liar, evil, or bitter. All they see lately is pain. This depression reminds me of the country sky at midnight: the darkest black velvet shroud over the earth, with glimmers of hope barely glinting through.


The amazing part is that, against the black of my sin, those glimmers God grants of mercy, peace and joy are immeasurably bright. Ad astra per aspera. To the stars through pain.