Tuesday, October 19, 2004

How God Might Feel When He's Happy

I have a friend who's currently in a big hole, kinda like one of those deep, abandoned wells in a fairy tale. She knows the only way now is up, so she's in the throes of beginning that daunting climb. It has been one LONG season of preparation for this, however.

At the beginning I fought God and begged Him to use someone else to come alongside her. Please spare me the anguish of being cut up, cut down, and banged around by this woman. She fights a lot, and she doesn’t fight fair. She’s a puppy that’s been run over by a bus, and I don’t want to be the one to scoop her up—she’s wounded everywhere, and besides—she bites! I grew more and more miserable as I continued to refuse and negotiate. At last I surrendered, and He set right down in my heart the biggest mother lode of Love for her. I came to see her from a completely different perspective, and that made all the difference. I no longer cared about my Self first and foremost—my heart’s desire for her was whatever He prompted. Sometimes that meant compassion, sometimes mercy; other times it was to say nothing at all and just listen. Through her binges, barbs, and breakneck pace; the madness, mayhem, malice, and myriad miffs and moods, I watched and waited and wept.

A month ago, the stuff hit the fan, the powder keg blew, and the building came crashing down. She went from the top of the Chrysler building one day to the bottom of that well the next. It was a figurative crash, but emotionally, the impact was the same.

One of the key problems was her inability to believe that she is loved—by God, by me, by her friends, by anyone. I picked up the phone a couple of weeks after the collapse, and she said these words to me, “I know that I am loved!” It was like hearing outta nowhere that you have a grandchild you never knew about.

She’s never been one to show affection, except for these occasional, colossal, enveloping, lingering hugs. (One mutual friend said they’re more for her than for the person she’s hugging because she’s trying to absorb from you the love she’s so looking for and cannot find. I haven’t wanted to think that, but can’t discount it since broken people can contrive irrational things.) She has sent me two cards since that are filled with heartfelt sentiment, the warm, fuzzy kind. Her gratitude is sincere and generous, her words the kindest they have ever been. Thank You. XO