Sunday, April 16, 2006

Chapter 22: Broken glass, pt 1

“Give Me what is hurting you here.” His kind voice breaks me out of my reverie.
I do not understand, but then I see a framed picture on the window sill. The frame has no glass in it and in my hands I hold the shards of the broken glass from the frame. The image is of the time of hurt and loneliness. The sharp shards are cutting into my hands.

“Give that part to Me. Keep the image, but give the pain to Me.”

I hand Him the broken glass, relieved to get it away from me. Taking it from me, He strides to the fireplace and tosses the glass into the fire. The flames blaze for a moment, consuming what He has fed them.

He beckons me to come to Him; I stand with Him there in from of the fire in a gentle silence. He puts Him arm around me and I find that the consuming aches is gone.

Then I see something I have not seen before. He is there with me in my pain. I am not and never was alone. His tear—He felt my pain, it meant something to Him; my pain was important to Him.

“I never knew, Papa!” I never understood it really matters to you, I did not know you really cared about my hurt so much. I never knew it mattered to you!” The image of His tear is burned in my mind. I cannot shake the testament to my hurt.

“You are forgiven,” He says, hugging me, reminding me that He is there. “I am here.”

“Papa, may I—I would like to give you something more.” I find in my hands another picture, the glass shattered. The picture is that of a woman who’s words cut through my heard, devastated me to the core. “I want to give this to You as well.”

Quietly, He takes the broken glass from me, adding it to the fire as before. We watch the flames until they subside somewhat.

Finally, He says,” There is a lot of hurt stored up in you, hurt related to my body, to your service to Me. I do not want you to continue to carry it with you. I want to take it from you, to heal you and make you whole. I do not want you to be alone in this any longer.”

I consider what He has said. Although I want what He describes, it is a frightening proposition none the less. I look at the fire once again. “Yes, Papa, I do want to give all of those shattered feelings to You.” I finally reply.

His arm tightens around me briefly. Then He walks me over to a large box full of framed pictures placed near the windows. I sit beside the box; He crouches beside me. The pictures in the box are very old. Each one a moment, a memory, a person. And in each one, the glass is cracked, some just slightly, some totally shattered.

I look at each picture, removing the glass. At first, He has me put the shards in he fire myself, but soon my hands are full of shards imbedded in my palms. Too full of the memories to speak, I wordlessly hold my hands out to Him. Tenderly, he takes my hands in Him and carefully removes the shards, tossing them in the fire. With His thumbs, He strokes the wounds until they are gone.

I continue going through the pictures of the old church, the division, the loss of relationships, people who wounded me, situations we served in. The further down I go in the box, the tinier the glass shards seem to be. It feels like there is glass everywhere, filling the box, all over the floor and my hands and arms. I separate the pictures from the glass and frames, setting the images aside and filling the box with what remains.

“Can we just put the whole box in the fire?” I ask, my hands raw and bleeding again from the viciously sharp edges of the glass. He nods, but first takes my hands to heal them once more. Then He helps me move the box beside the fire.

“We must pick up what remains, lest you continue to be injured by it all.” He gestures to the floor covered by glittering fragments. I realize that the sandals He gave me have once again enabled me to walk through what He has told me to do.

It takes a long time to clean up all the fragments, even with His help. I never knew how much I was carrying. Only with His strength am I amble to heave the heavy box into the fireplace.

The flames flare brightly as they consume the box and the glass. As the flames die down, He says, “There is more.” He shows me two more boxes, as large and full as the first.

Sighing, I cannot help but protest, “Can’t we just toss the whole thing?” I really do not want to look at what is there. I know the pain and do not want to deal with it.”

“No child,” He shakes His head patiently, “There is much that you have learned, much that I have taught you, much maturity and growth in these boxes, in these pictures. It would not be right to throw that all away. There is good amidst the pain.”

“Yes, Papa,” If He says that there is good in those boxes, then I do not want to lose it. I must do it all His way, not my own. Although tempted, I will not negotiate or try to do this my way. His way is best.

Sitting beside the closer box, I begin to sort its contents. The pictures in this box seem larger, clearer than the one n the last box. They are more recent, the glass broken into large, wickedly sharp, dagger like slivers.

He stops me before I take the first pictures out. “Do you know why I am doing this, daughter? He asks.

“No, not really. It seems like a good thing to do…” I stammer my uncertain reply.

“It is because I do not want you carrying this around anymore. I want you healed. I want you whole. I want you to be happy.”

Part 2-->

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