Monday, October 20, 2008

To Know Him - Monday Manna

Monday Manna

There's a hidden place in my soul.
I barely know it's there, but I defend it fiercely anyway.
Its walls stand firm and imposing, like Jericho of old.
They've grown thicker with every assault.
Attacks only serve to make this fortress stronger.
No enemy can ever breach its defenses.

Its surface is emblazoned with the graffiti of years.
Words in lead paint.
"Toughen up!"
"Life's rough! Get over it!"
"Suffer in silence!"
"Faker! Phony!"
Dagger-words spoken in response to
my childhood tears.

Love had to be tough
To prepare me for a cruel world
A sink-or-swim world
Where no one, no one
Will ever really be there for you.

Most don't love.
But those who do
Are too overwhelmed with their own pain
To help you bear the weight of yours.
No one wants to hear your problems, anyway.





So there was a little girl.
A little blonde girl.
A little blonde girl who cried.

I locked her away.
She had no right to cry.
If she insisted on doing so
she certainly had no right to be heard.

Life is tough.
Get over it.

She still lives in the fortress, where even I barely ever hear her.

For years the graffiti on her walls has gotten thicker.

The one with the spray can is me, showing her "tough love."
I have to thicken her walls, because if anyone sees her, they might hurt her.

She already hurts too much.

But someone knows her.

He has met with her sometimes.
Always by surprise.

He does not knock holes in her walls
or dig tunnels underneath
or use high explosives.

She's prepared for all of that.

He uses
the gentlest of touches
the kindest of looks
the softest of voices...
sometimes just in her heart
sometimes through His other children.

Walls melt.

She stands, exposed
but somehow not afraid.
Not of Him.

She weeps, always, when He finds her.
But her tears are sweet
because of the tenderness of
The One
who wipes them away
and perhaps most of all
because what she wants more than anything
is love.

She cannot bear to be exposed for long
so He hides Himself
for gentleness' sake
until she's ready to see Him again.

She wants...


I want...
to know Him.

His resurrection
is life
from this tomb

The fellowship of His sufferings...

sufferings which do not make Him belittle my lesser pains
but rather transforms them...

the fellowship of His sufferings
erases the word "Alone."

His death
is so much more beautiful
than the living death my soul has known.
I want to trade my death
for His
because His is full
of eternal life
and love.

I want to know Him
God help me!
I have heard my own voice
crushing my children's souls.
I've have seen my own hands
with bricks
and mortar
and lead paint
giving them the same
"tough love"
that smothered my soul
in airless darkness.

Dear God,
I want to know You
not just in my head
but in the deepest parts of me
the parts that need to feel
Your love, and
Your gentleness
and then pass them along to others
whose souls ache and languish
like mine.




Monday Manna is being hosted this week by Joanne over at An Open Book. Be sure to drop by for more food from Heaven, and remember to leave comments if an entry touched your heart.


Joanne Sher said...

Oh, Betsy. This is absolutely INCREDIBLE. My mouth was agape and I was on the edge of my seat throughout this amazingly moving piece. Thank you for feeding me richly this morning, my dear!

Patty Wysong said...

So beautiful, rich and full. Packed full of emotion and meaning. (emphasis on meaning!!) Like Joanne said, Moving.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

This tore my insides up, friend! Deep, stirring thoughts that have come from an obvious place of pain. And that picture? It speaks a story all its own.

Thank you for your vulnerablity and for sharing your deep desire.

I love your heart.


Betsy Markman said...

Thanks, everyone. It was really hard to bare this part of my soul. I almost didn't post it. I needed my sister to read it first and tell me it was ok to post. But if it blessed others, then it was definitely the right thing to do.

Thanks for listening to my heart.

LauraLee Shaw said...

I got halfway through this yesterday and got interrupted. This is AMAZING. Definitely need to get this published elsewhere. So many can relate to these deep gut feelings.

YES, it was right to post this. Absolutely!

Jennifer said...

This is very moving. The part that resonates with me most is this: Most don't love.
But those who do
Are too overwhelmed with their own pain
To help you bear the weight of yours.
No one wants to hear your problems, anyway.

For years, I was obsessed with Proverbs 25:17. I had a very twisted view of this proverb and would not let anyone in. One day in 2005, God just took a wrecking ball to my heart and I was acting as though someone had taken a photo of me naked and printed it in a newspaper. It was really difficult, but I am glad He has been peeling the layers of pride away these past three years. Josh McDowell says the definition of love is "to protect and provide." I discovered that I can't serve others if I'm so busy providing for myself by focusing on protecting my own heart.

CS Lewis once said: "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness . . . The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers . . . .of love is hell."

It is true. Building walls around our hearts is like simulating hell, as it is the only place outside heaven where you will be safe from all the dangers of love.

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