There it is again . . . that trigger that sends my mind spiraling. Accordingly, here are my tears, falling into my water bucket. I no longer know the identity of the wetness that soaks my rag and buries the floor in mop water. I scrub and scrub, trying to wash away the mess that has accumulated on old tile. It doesn’t seem to matter; the shine’s not what it used to be. It stays buried beneath old woundings, refusing the work and will of the sponge attached to the effort.
When, God? When will this floor heal?
When, God? When will my heart heal?
I have a festering wound. It’s been with me for awhile, almost two years now. Most days I don’t notice it, but every now and again, the trigger flares up, and the hurt returns. I’m tired of carrying it. I’m tired of feeling it. I just want to let it go and move on. Perhaps there are some of you who feel the same way; you’ve been hurt, and the corresponding ache fills your heart every time you think upon it. You feel isolated from the world that was supposed to understand you and accept you, most days in spite of you. Instead of receiving you, the world has rejected you, or at least the two or three who purported friendship with you only later to deny your existence.
Almost as if you weren’t there.
My hurt has resulted from a post I wrote about a popular, Christian book after it made its debut. I thought my review was fair and gracious. Others thought otherwise. The review has since been removed from my blog, not because I don’t believe in the words I wrote back then but rather, because, I was wounded by the responses I received from others. My skin isn’t thick; my skin is tender, my heart even more so.
Almost immediately after writing that post, my readership declined; not casual readers or those who happened upon me via a Google search, but those I counted as friends. They just walked away with no explanation (one of the reasons behind my growing disdain for social media . . . it’s just too easy to walk away from one another). Oh, they never said this review was the reason for their departure. They didn’t have to. Sometimes a heart just knows; sometimes discernment is easy.
And so, I’ve carried this ache for a long time, and I can no longer pretend it doesn’t hurt. I see those friends out in the social media world when I take my daily stroll in cyberspace. I’ve kept tabs on them, hoping that something would change, that they’d move back into my world. But they haven’t, and it’s time for me to let go of what I thought was friendship and begin to release myself from this obligation to matter to them. They no longer wish to be here, and while this reality hurts me, I no longer wish to cater to this pain.
This isn’t a game to me, friends. What I do here matters to me. You matter to me. I’ve spent nearly five years building relationships with some of you, and I thank you for affording me God’s good grace, even when I’ve not always said what you wanted to hear. I don’t always get it right, but I’m always willing to try, always willing to be honest about my struggles, my failures, and my triumphs.
Shouldn’t we do better at loving one another? Shouldn’t we live grace rather than just talk about it? When we make an investment into the hearts of one another, shouldn’t we stick around for the outcome? Maybe I’m going about this all wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t expect so much from my readership. Maybe then, it wouldn’t hurt so much when someone walks away. Maybe.
Tonight, I’m wondering about it all, and I’m asking God to heal my hurt and to show me how to make my heart a good fit with this forum. Tonight, I needed to say a few things and begin to flesh out how I’m going to move forward in this space. How am I supposed to write heart-words without risking heart-wounds? I don’t think it’s possible.
And so, I’ll scrub a little longer. Stay on my hands and knees and keep at my floor cleaning until something beyond old tile and accumulated mess begins to emerge . . . until I see the shine. God kneels with me. Even when the world walks away and distances itself from me, God sees me. He doesn’t play games with my affection, nor does he play by the rules when it comes to dispensing his love. Instead, he receives my affection and loves me beyond the rules, beyond the limits of what’s reasonable.
He is where the heart begins to heal. He is when the heart begins to heal.
Tonight. Right now. In this moment.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come and shine me up with the generous love and favor that belongs to me as your daughter. I want to keep loving, keep writing my heart, and keep showing up in this place. Heal my wounds and bring discernment to my spirit. Help me to forgive, and help me to move on. Remove the accumulated mess from my heart, and replace it with a fresh cleansing of grace. Thank you for always kneeling to my need and for never leaving my side. Amen.