It has been a while since I have had to deal with myself in this way. Unfortunately, I have done it again. Two boys squabble and I stop cooking breakfast, try to understand. One boy blows up and stomps down stairs slamming doors. Yelling and acting like a fool I stomp down after him. Just a little push and I jump – cannonball – into this pit. Splashing a muddy, ugly mess on everyone. The boys have left, hunting, with their father and I am left with myself.
Into my mind pops a few phrases from one of the books I am reading.
“…I wonder too…if…the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. That which tears open our souls, these holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. … To the God whom we endlessly crave. …How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy?” Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
I was spilling and it certainly was not joy. I sit down, head in hands, and feel empty. It is my own sin that has put me here in this pit. I open journal to spill words – words of repentance – God help me. The verse on the page mocks me, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
God, this does not feel like an abundant life. I hate this!
“Ah, God responds, you were not choosing life. You were choosing that pit – the one filled with resentment and anger – the one that leads to death. I hate this also.”
Ouch, God, you are right – I chose to act in a manner that did not honor Your name. I chose the pit over the light of Your glory. Father, forgive me.
God speaks truth and it hurts. The words and actions that flew through the house this morning, they wounded. Jesus was wounded for me, for my sin. The price has been paid.
I think back on Ann’s words in chapter one. I gather them up and meditate on them and they flow into my journal like this…
Chapter 1 - An Emptier, Fuller Life
let the pain filled
holes of life empty,
mysteries holding soul
satisfying manna nourishes,
saturates grace and glory
an emptier, fuller life
God’s truth – it heals – because He speaks Truth in love. I choose to empty myself, letting go of resentment, anger. I confess my sin. I receive the Lord’s forgiveness – He nourishes my soul. I wait for boys to return home thinking about how to seek their forgiveness and set things straight. As I empty myself I pray God would clean up the splattered mess. I trust God to heal them as He does me.
We have a good conversation when they return from hunting. But there are still areas where the punctures stay tender.
For more on Chapter One of the One Thousand Gifts Book Club click here.