It’s funny how we can go through life operating a certain way for so long that when someone comes along and says something about it in a way you’ve never considered – it’s like WOW. I now see it totally differently.
I called my friend (who’s really a sister I just know was separated from me at birth) the other day who lives on the West Coast. Living in Austin, it’s amazing how just a two hour time difference can make it so hard to connect. But, it does. So, we finally connected. And, it never feels like enough time. You have those friendships that seriously feel like drip with such richness it’s never enough, yet it’s so filling at the same time.
Without revealing her life details, I’ll just say that she began by jumping into how she was doing. This is what I love about this friendship. We can skip right past the, “Hey, how’s the weather?” chit chat and get right to the heart talk.
As she is sharing, I’m marveling – because I, too, have been struggling with the very same thing! And, it’s not something I would call common. You know what I mean. We all have these peculiar struggles that keep resurfacing mysteriously, or maybe not so mysteriously, but enough of a curiosity to them that we end up just reacting to the struggle because that’s all we can seem to do. Not proactively trying to solve it or prevent it because it jars us so much emotionally we want to just abandon all reason and run from it as fast as we can or put an immediate stop to what’s causing it.
So, I tell her – hey! Same here! We laugh knowingly. It’s quite often this happens to us. As if our lives and friendships are so meant to be intertwined even down to the unique challenges we are facing. As I listen to her recount her experiences of late, I get very caught up in the emotions of them.
And, I began to describe my own experiences. And, we know they relate to earlier childhood trauma, PTSD, all these buzz words, she says. Then she says something that blows my socks off.
Allow me some writing liberties as I detail this in a novel-esque manner:
“Mel, this particular thing keeps happening to me. And, I can almost audibly hear God ask me so gently, “Won’t you let me touch it?”
I tear up hearing this. She goes on to describe how God has become such a partner in her life that He wants to heal her completely of all this pain, but she has to be willing to let Him touch the sore spots.
That in Him touching those spots, His touch heals. It’s all over the Bible. It’s in daily life if we listen. One touch of the Master’s hand…and it frees us.
WOW. That was my paradigm shift. For me, this unique issue – which I’ll briefly explain has to do with being so easily startled by people it thrusts me immediately into a dark pit of emotions. I end up blaming the person who scared me even though they did not mean to or they meant no harm in it. Yet, all my harbored anger comes to surface and I learn that I still have a ways to go in this healing and forgiveness journey. And, I always think, “If they only knew what this does to me they would stop.”
She then teaches me something I consider pure gold (despite The Outsiders declaration that “nothing golden can stay, Pony Boy”) :
“Mel, if in that moment of fear we can look at that person and immediately forgive them because they know not what they do, we are walking in the healing of Christ.”
I still get goosebumps just recalling this conversation. I’ve often asked: what does healing look like? How will I know? Giving myself my own renditions of a yard stick to gauge my progress. Yet, continually coming up short.
But, she put it out there – straight from scripture. Forgiving as Christ forgave us. Immediate and full. In our wholeness and healing by His touch, we are free to let go of the pain others inflict on us. And, we can forgive. That is a life that is full and rich. Not having the perfect job, or family or home. But, a heart set free to love.
So, as I lay here in bed sick – my heart is full and getting more well by the minute. And, maybe that’s why I keep getting sick. I’ve been engaging in this life with a “I got this” attitude. And, I’ve been pummeled cause I don’t got this! And, the most beautiful form of intimacy is touch – the good kind. Pure and loving. And, for those who know my story, you know this is my heart’s cry.
And, I thank God for friends who can get in there and touch those sort spots. Even the ones that know not what they are doing.