I have not been able to think of anything to write about all week. I should say, rather, that I had a great number of thoughts that I wanted to put down, but I could not find a segue into them. Since this is not my own personal journal, it wouldn't do to present you with a collection of jumbled, partially formed ideas. They seem brilliant and deeply convicting in my head. Fortunately for you, we are not in my head. I spent all week looking for outside inspiration.
Then the massacre happened.
A bit unsettling, isn't it? But it seemed like such a perfect sequel to my last blog post. There is a very great difference between the way I treat my stuffed animals and the way Chandler treats his, but I don't believe his are loved any less. This snowman is one of the most adored toys that ever lived. He and Chandler sleep together, watch television (or me trying to exercise) together, and play outside in the yard together. In their favorite game, the snowman plays dead while Chandler stages a series of run-by attacks.
Until very recently, no one got hurt during their games. It's been nearly a year. Last week, the snowman finally lost his carrot nose. I would have sewn it back on, but I think it was swallowed. Tonight, Chandler brought his snowman to me, just to show him off. He likes to tease me with the snowman, showing me how wonderful he is without letting me touch him. He still loves him, face or no face.
The contents of this beloved snowman's head are currently strewn across my bedroom floor. I'll patch him up in the morning. He won't be as good as new, but I think I can prolong his life. He'll be damaged and disfigured, and Chandler will go on loving him unconditionally.
Sometimes I remind myself of a torn-up stuffed snowman... and during those times, I feel as though I'm closest to who I wish to be. It's when my wounds are fresh, and I feel exposed, that I can feel God moving and working most clearly in me. I was reminded of this in my devotions this morning. "Sorrow is God's tool to plow the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvests."
The world tells us that when we are wounded, we should patch ourselves up as quickly as possible. We've romanticized the whole concept of buried pain and deep-seated bitterness. Think of all the proud, damaged and cynical heroes and heroines we've met. It's admirable in movies, books and society in general to be scarred - but not to let your stuffing show through! All too often, though, it's our own patch jobs that get in the way of actual healing. Some of us just distract ourselves and pretend not to hurt. Some of us build splints out of pride and fear, isolating ourselves or forever viewing ourselves as damaged. Eventually, our failed patch jobs lead to hideous scars, which are far more painful and harder to recover from than the original hurt would have been. We can limp on for many years like that, and God will not love us any less. He knows that we cannot heal ourselves any more than I can heal Chandler's snowman - but He could do such a beautiful job if we'd let Him. God doesn't just promise to put pretty patches over our ripped seams or make us like new. He promises to make us better than new... and He doesn't need our help to do it. We just have to get out of the way and let Him work. I don't know why we humans find that so difficult. Why survive with a limp when we could flourish?