It’s been dark in here. In my heart. I haven’t been able to see Jesus in all of His beautiful goodness. I didn’t stop believing in Him but I didn’t know who He was anymore. I didn’t think I’d ever known who God is. I didn’t think I ever could. I was scared and angry. I believed that even if I could know Him, I would never be able to love Him the way He wanted because He had let my heart be crippled by the cruelties of life. And did I even want to love a God who can’t preserve a precious soul who cannot shield itself?
I know Him a little better now than I ever have. He doesn’t look like I thought He did. He looks more like a moment I had when I was barely 6 years old, alone. That little moment has been hidden inside me for so many years. He did preserve me. That moment was the promise. A tiny glimpse that if I try to hard to remember, it slips away. That moment, secreted away in the very depths of me, a tiny sliver of time when God and I connected, was the seed I would need 25 years later to regrow the faith I feared I’d lost forever.
It died, but it was born anew. I found it again in a dark and terrifying place. I stumbled into it in a place I least expected it. I found Him in suffering friends. I found Him in abject honesty. He was waiting for me in the humanity of myself and others. I can see His face in the things that look like God doesn’t belong there. He could be found in the dirty places with the low-down, the despised and rejected, the sinners, the shunned, the blight upon society. And He’s still hanging out with those of us who question it all and dare to say, “I think I’ve got it all wrong.” He bucked tradition and flung the tables of established belief. He was progressive and revolutionary.
And I have opened my heart to the revolution of His healing love. I’m trying to, anyways. The door is heavy and a large box of fear has been sitting in front of it for many years. He is not afraid of my questions. He is not threatened by my imperfection. He is not a box that I am forced to fit into. He uniquely made me. My heart was built by Him and He would like to repair the damage.
He is angered by the destruction. He weeps for the devastation. He gave up glory to be marked and marred by it. To know me and to walk back through the valley of the shadow of death with me.
I began to be sure that my people would be better off without me. I saw myself as a black hole that would collapse and take all I loved with me. I was the blight upon their lives and the darkness of my existence would extinguish their light. And I told God I could not search after Him any longer. I am too tired to look for You. I am exhausted. My heart is too weary to pursue Your light. The tunnel is so long that I’m not sure You are even at the end of it. I know You Are. I know that You are bigger than my exponentially compounding weakness. You know exactly where I am. Come find me. I cannot seek, but You can.
And He found me. Is finding me. A little at a time. Chance encounters. Old friends. New books. Passing glances. Others who are stumbling forward in their own broken humanity. Some who are feebly reaching into the light. Some who have been where I am, have collapsed in despair, and have been found by His limitless abundance.
I can never love Him wholly. I was sure that was required of me. But as His warmth and light heal bit by bit, I have yet another cubic inch to give back to Him. And He is singing over the centimeters, the inches, the fragments of broken me that I am letting Him have as He finds them. His joy over me is wild and dangerous and life-giving. I’m terrified at how I am changing. But I am exhilarated. Because a reality of being loved by Supreme Love itself is safer than living in a box of being afraid to get it wrong.
There is so much ground I have not yet seen in my battered heart. So much yet to demolish and renovate. But He keeps putting Himself in my way.