Like a child.

I find my hands grasping, white knuckled. I cling, holding desperately to unforgiveness and bitterness like a frightened child holds on to a mother's skirt. Has resentment become so familiar that it's also become my security - a place where I feel safe? I clutch it like a lifeline and the paradox is it's the death-line of my soul. I know that life comes with the opening of the hand, the letting go and falling into grace. The picture makes sense for an adult - why not let go? - but in this arena I am the child with fear in the heart, screaming loud, fists tight and refusing to believe. I have a level of comfort with the feeling of control, the grasping, which unnerves me. Why is it so hard for me, for all humanity, to trust Him?
I remember Wisdom crying aloud in these words:
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13

The command to forgive because we are forgiven. Powerful and profound yet unnatural to my fallen state.

I feel like the child again. He is the loving Father reaching down to me, his compassionate eyes locked on mine, and His gentle voice comes close. "Forgive, let go, trust me, lay down your anger, resentment and bitterness." His breath tickles my neck and makes me giggle just a little bit and I relax, still grasping but feeling safer. He locks my eyes again, "Remember, I forgave you....".  Those words lay weighty before me and I squirm just slightly, barely perceptible, but he sees it. He sees the shifting of my gaze off Him and onto my fears, my uncertainty about how He really feels about me. I feel His hand tilting my chin back towards Him so His eyes can lock mine again. I try to hide my shame but my eyes can't escape His. I still feel the gentle firmness of his fingers on my jaw (the jaw revealing my stubborn will) and I realize those same hands are the ones that touched the leper to make ugly skin beautiful, that swung a hammer to carve wood into beauty, that had the hammer swinging over them, stabbing them with iron, to make my life beautiful. The reality of what He did cuts my heart like a blade. He forgave me because of love and then He gave of Himself unto death for me. How can the hands grip tight to the death-line in the face of the lifeline he offers?
I see the paths before me. The first, the path of my own making. I am in control, I choose the course, I can carry my anger and pain with me and inflict the pain on others I feel like is justly theirs. The Father of that path is darkness. The second, the path of His making. He is in control. He is the Shepherd, and I am the sheep following Him. I relinquish my right to deliver the justice I want and I trust Him to be the Judge. I choose to let go of my anger and I release the object of my anger to Him. I am connected to love. The Father of Light holds this path.
The familiar is drawing. I know that path. It's like a prison cell but I have counted the bricks, felt the walls, known the size of the room, tested the confinement. The second path, the path of the Shepherd takes trust......but He is trustworthy. His history reveals His faithfulness. His actions show His love and kindness. I know I want to be with Him. I know I want Him to teach me and help me embrace all that he will lead me in. Am I afraid? Yes, but I know who I'm going with and He is good.

 I free my grip, I let go, I find the nail scarred hands holding mine and I cling tightly.


Rachael Barham said…
Wow. I love it. And walked with you, feeling the journey. Thank you.

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