Disclaimer: Do not read if you are uncomfortable with REAL—with TRANSPARENT. Then again, maybe it might be good to stretch beyond comfort zone . . . to see the beauty of transparent?
He held the wheel with one hand driving the two of us home last night. And I sat numb, looking at the bruised sky in the west, all black and blue turning purple.
Dark clouds hovered.
We passed that doe, stretched stiff on her deathbed, the bed for corn seed soon to be buried. She has been there for days. Eyes glazed and opened, I think about contrasts—extremes.
Manic and depressed.
Sane and psychotic.
Dead and alive.
And I feel like the sky, all hurting in throbbing black and blue turning purple.
Yet, I trust.
A bruised reed he will not break. (Isaiah 42:3)
I trust—the oldest documented document—God’s breath of life.
What else can I do in moments of heartbreaking grief?
I could choose to question.
Why does an orphaned child, so tiny and frail, get dealt THIS deck of cards for life? What kind of LIFE is THIS?!
I could choose to be bitter.
I could choose to say, “I will NOT take this cup and YOU will NOT be my LORD!”
I could choose not to accept the bitter.
Because our God gave us free will, I could choose to slip sweetly into my own socially acceptable split from reality.
I could choose denial.
I could choose shiny lacquered veneer.
I could spiritualize or secularize myself and everyone else straight-away to death.
But I will not.
I will stand transparent.
I will stand see-through real because reality is the TRUTH.
And I seek the TRUTH.
I seek LIFE.
And in seeking both truth and life, I will find my WAY.
Just ask me how.
The road has been long.
The road has been hard.
The road has just been blocked—apparently. But apparently, appearances are only distractions—delusions.
And I will NOT succumb!
No one should allow such thoughts to capture and enslave!
We have been set FREE by Jesus Christ of Nazareth—that dusty, tiny village I walked through the year before we adopted our daughter, now bound in a psych ward, sixteen years later.
This Jesus—my Jesus—our Jesus—He came into the smallest, dustiest, humblest of places on earth to set her free—to set me free—to set you free, completely.
And He was completely transparent.
Though apparently, many still could not, would not see . . .
Funny, isn’t it?
Most people don’t even know they’re bound.
Most people don’t even know they’re delusional.
Most people don’t know they’ve broken straight away from reality, seeing upside down through pretty glass-and-water-world we’ve created.
Most people don’t know what being FREE really means!
Because we’ve locked ourselves away from reality.
She sat rigid today on that locked psych ward. Watching others being discharged, she packed all her belongings into two paper grocery bags with the stuffed baby skunk and the stuffed palomino horse we bought her on top of each bag.
She had asked the nurse for tape this morning.
She wanted to wrap her stuffed skunk and stuffed horse with the same white tape that’s on her wrist—that keeps her bound behind locked doors, unable to smell the fresh air most of us on the outside of her walls take for granted, many times per minute.
She wanted to admit her stuffed friends into her present place—her bound space.
The kind nurse supplied the tape, writing the names of her animals because people in locked psych wards can’t have markers the length of all markers.
They just might mark themselves.
Or kill themselves . . .
Our daughter, our Anna, our once-orphaned daughter—our precious forever woman-child . . .
She told the nurse the names of her stuffed friends . . .
“My horse’s name is Found. Because I was lost. And now I’m found.”
The nurse wrote, in all capital letters, on the white tape—F-O-U-N-D.
“My baby skunk’s name is Trails. Because that’s where I picked up the baby skunk on our farm last summer—on our trails.”
The nurse wrote, in all capital letters, on the white tape—T-R-A-I-L-S.
And our 22 year-old daughter—all 89 pounds of her, seemingly withering away—she wrapped the white tape around the stomachs of each stuffed animal.
And when my husband—her father—my best friend—came to visit at twelve today?
She brought us her stuffed friends.
And we smiled.
We even laughed.
Because maybe I’m C-R-A-Z-Y myself (diagnosed by a young in-law relative with a medical degree).
But maybe—just MAYBE—there’s something to be learned from the MENTALLY ILL—from those frozen in time—from those who are really only six years old inside a twenty-two year old frame of flesh and bones who finds her solace right now in a psych ward that runs a group called “HOPE” where they read reflections ending in PRAYER—in a SECULAR hospital—a SECULAR PSYCH WARD!
Who’s really CRAZY?
And this young woman-child?
She gives me her artwork at noon—her gift from God—a simple sketch with a red heart in the middle of the page and five stick people below (her immediate family).
Maybe we all have a thing or two to learn from the mentally ill. From the C-R-A-Z-Y.
And down below . . .
Real small . . .
She tells me at twelve . . .
This is for you . . .
Those who know the proverb will know.
And it helps this bruised-sky, black and blue turned purple heart . . .
It helps her trust—and maybe you?—that we will not be broken straight-through.
It helps this heart, our hearts, keep loving and serving in such a time as this . . .
We are in an Esther moment . . .
A time where annihilation could happen . . .
But it won’t . . .
Because we—as a family?
Our God reigns.
Our God reveals.
Our God provides . . .
Just enough manna for the moment.
And we are satisfied.
We are so small—and so thankful . . .
So transparently . . .