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Scars Upon Thars

From time to time, circumstances conspire
to place a topic before me,
to be for me the focus of my thoughts.

Or perhaps I fail to give credit where credit is due,
wracking up a debt to a loving Father
who nudges so gently and yet so insistently,
consistently saying,
instantly graying through my black and white:
<br/>

“Pay attention!

This.
This is before you now, and
here is where you are to lay down your heart.
So start.
Embrace the perception and intellect too honed to miss it,
and yet, so often
too dull to get it.”

And this is how it comes:
the recurrence of a word or notion,
a theme in motion in time
day after day, the echo of them
like a child tugging at a hem:
quietly,
persistently,
demanding my attention.
<br/>

The topic?
<br/>

Shame.
<br/>

Now, pay attention.

A friend asks why?
Why are we afraid to discuss the past,
turning fast from the histories that could pass
so much strength to the next to come?

Why not just say what was
as a matter of fact
and screw the tact?

The more we hide within the now
to escape recalling the past,
the more we slip and evade somehow,
the more we employ tact,
the more shame we imply upon the things
it may be painful to discuss.

We don’t want to intrude on this interlude,
this precious time with “us”.
We wouldn’t want to bring up topics
that would pick at wounds and purple places.
Because we wouldn’t want to see their faces
when they see our scars.

Only survivors have scars, friends,
and thus far…
we are all survivors.

The more you cover your scars and hide them,
the longer they stay in darkness,
the more surprising they will be when seen,
shared with those who cared enough to ask.

And those who see your beauty
can only surmise that the ugly is in your own eyes.
<br/>

Pay attention!
<br/>

I hear the words of a wise man
of whom I’ve never heard before.

He tells of honesty and light and self worth.
He speaks of value beyond evaluation…
seeing the soul beyond the reach
of those who would take us at face value…
de-faced value.

He speaks of pride with tears in his eyes,
and a quaver in his voice that only serves to lend his words
more strength more life more truth. He burns my heart and demands attention, reprimands my incomprehension of others.

He too speaks of survival;
of no need for shame.
<br/>

Pay attention!
<br/>

I read the words of a woman
whose life-long study has led her to embrace guilt,
yet to deny shame.

To step beyond the limits placed upon us
by this petri-dish growth we call culture that
surrounds us,
confounds us,
bounds us.

To be vulnerable in the right place,
at the right time,
with the right people.

To move even the most incriminating of bodies from our past,
ever rising and haunting our present and our future.

Move them!

Uproot them
from where they’ve planted their toes
decomposing to the dust and dirt of
“I must” and “I hurt”.

Haul them away with the help of those
who have earned the right,
be it dead of night,
who will run to our sides with swords drawn high,
God’s word bursting forth from their lips.

I see the army of angels that rush to aid such crusades,
banishing masquerades,
kissing boo-boos,
applying band-aids.

I see the strength in a friend’s eyes
when she sees right into you,
but never right past you.

When she is wholly present in this holy love,
this relationship bound to Christ,
tied in place with amazing grace.

I see the love of sisters for sisters
from those who miss theirs
to those who never had the chance.

<br/>
We need this

This kind of growth and togetherness,
this whenever-ness,
to step out of the “not-good-enough”
with which we have encased ourselves from such an early age
and into the worthiness with which Christ has clothed us.

Enrobed us.

To take up this mantle,
this royal purple garment,
though we’ve not earned it,
and find a way to spread it.

To reach out to each other and banish shame.
<br/>

Call it by name.
<br/>

Shame.
<br/>

Cloak it in light and watch…
it takes flight.
<br/>

I long to be a body-moving-friend
to care for those who dare
and those who would
if only I could.

I’d like to help you move some bodies
out of darkness into light.
I’ve brought my shovel
from this hovel of a self
in which I’ve been dwelling.

I’d like to see your scars
and to know that you’ve seen mine
and that neither of us have flinched
nor been repulsed because we know.

The past may be marked upon us
in our hearts and minds…
but our souls are pristine, friends.
Clean and divine,
this amazing re-creation is yours
and mine!

We’re white as snow,
and though there are marks
of which I will never be proud
and I dread explaining when realization dawns
that this is not the norm…

these scars…
they don’t mean what they used to.

<br/>

And this.

This is what it’s all about.

This is why we come together in love and play.
The toughest, most difficult, embracing,
courageous love in pray-time
brings us the greatest joy in play-time.

We are the body of Christ,
the representatives of God within tHis kingdom.
The stronger we stand,
courageous before each other,
in love and acceptance,
knowing the beauty that lies beneath
and reveling together when love shines through…
revealing together that “me” and “you” are “we”,
beyond artificiality…

the stronger we become.
<br/>

So.
<br/>

Pay attention!

This is what it’s all about.
Here is where we are to lay down our hearts.
And start.

Know with a certainty the value of the undervalued.
Admit that the accounting may have been wrong.
Love embraces all.
Christ surpasses all.

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