I bet you don’t revel in the wound. In fact, I bet you put some makeup on it and sugarcoat it so that no one sees its nasty festering rawness. You can choose to deny that aspect of your own hypocrisy or choose to face it as I am right now.
I love my little town, the one I was forced to come to as a teen, a rebellious, angry, broken, teen. As a forty-year-old woman, I love it. The hatred of its po-dunk nature, sidewalk smiles, and big belt buckles has grown on me like a rose among my many thorns. But, its country sweetness has infiltrated my desire for transparency on a level that hurts.
I was walking the streets of downtown, wearing a smile. I said, “Good morning!” cheerfully to each person I passed, some I knew by name (the joys of living in a small town). But as I got closer to my own little shop in this precious space, I realized how fake my smile really was. I was still wearing it as I thought, “I’d really rather be crying right now.” Then I had to ask myself why I was smiling.
You and I both know why that half-hearted (if it could even be labeled thus) smile curved my lips, it was an attempt at protection. Had I walked down the streets crying, people would have thought me out of my mind. Dare I say, no one would have stopped to ask me if they could assist. Why? Because we are all so comfortable in our own wounds that we would rather not expose them to, or be exposed to, anyone else(s).
The aches, the rip your heart and mind apart moments of life are better left overshadowed by a toothy grin that means absolutely nothing. I am tired of hiding who I am, what I feel, but I am just as terrified to reveal it. Who wants people to judge them? For surely they will. Who wants people to know every ounce of heartache and break? Not anyone I have talked to recently.
In fact, I was sitting at a friend’s dining room table on Sunday discussing what I feel God is calling me to do, this walk on the dark side of sorrow and its revelation. She applauds me, I guess, but probably because she has absolutely no desire to do it herself. And I don’t blame her. I told her I feel like I am being asked to lay it all open, filet myself in front of the masses, risk the relationships of those I have held in too high a regard for far too long.
This, I told her is my cross to bear. Someone has to come clean about the scars and the grit. I told her it is hugely agonizing and scary because I know that some people will want to apply salve to my hurts while others will gladly throw salt on them.
“It’s a trust issue, that’s why there’s no unity in the Body.”
Yes indeed, it is. And I explained that the real problem is we don’t trust God. He will not allow more salt than is necessary to be thrown at me. I will only feel enough sting to be healed and become more like Him. Why? Because I love Him and am called according to His purposes. So, therefore, He will work all things together for my good.
I am working on a book that will reveal more of me and Him than I have ever tried to accomplish, but I know He’s asked me to do it and that makes me want to rip off this fake small town smile and cry all the way to the publisher. But I can’t, because even though these are light and temporary troubles in the grand scheme of things, I still have to live in the temporary and so do you. That means sometimes we have to smile over the pain and wait to cry in the presence of those who will join us in eternity.
Are you ready to trust your Spiritual siblings on that level? Are you prepared to face the hard questions they will ask about who you are and how you got there? Are you ready to ask yourself those same questions? Working out your own salvation definitely will cause fear and trembling. Are you ready to revel in the wound?
Featured Image by: TimOve (Flickr)