Saturday, February 04, 2012

This is what love looks like

Wistful Wendee Copyright (c) 2011 Earl Nottingham (he named this image - and how apropos is wistful... "full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy")

There I was updating my blogroll when I stumbled upon a blog post written a year ago by "Maggie Dammit" that made my heart stop... Now Maggie can write. She has a way of writing that just mesmerizes, cuts deep, transfixes, and rends hearts. I also have to admit I am not a big blog reader. Just don't have time. I may stumble on a share-worthy blog post now and then, but there are few blogs I keep up with regularly - hers included. So when I read this post, I just had to share its message because it cut to my core.

First, the blog link: what my heart looks like. The key thing that reached deep into my own heart was not the post title concept - that her heart looked like an aquamarine-colored stuffed seahorse her daughter clung to as she slept, but rather the story she told, which was exactly a description of how one dear friend touched my life recently.

Maggie's older daughter drew a picture, and then got so mad at herself for being such a crappy artist, she crumpled it all up and threw it in the garbage, declaring herself the Suckiest Artist Ever.

But that wasn't the end of the story. Hours later, when they all crawled into bed, there was the original picture, smoothed out, and next to a sign written by her six-year old sister that said: "I found this in the GRBij. I it It was a Mastrpese."

There. Are. No. Words.

Maggie then talked to a friend about why this resonated so deeply with her... and came to this conclusion:

"In my life today I am surrounded by people who will pick up my crumpled pieces, smooth them out with intention, and present them back to me with a gentle kiss on the head. I hope you have these people, too. I hope you are these people for your people, and I pray my daughters remain this way."

All I can say, is wow. In my experience, and I talk deeply with a lot of people, most of us walk around with a "piece of shit" feeling inside of us. Even - sometimes more so - Christians (the guilt associated with wanting to be in a more perfect or more holy or more righteous state, combined with the continued daily failures of sin, lust, selfishness, greed - AND the self-awareness of those things - can be doubly guilt-inducing at times). But to meet people, even a single person, who can lift you out of the 'garbage can' you choose to live in - whether you were thrown there by crappy circumstances in your own life, or whether you choose to wallow there because you don't seem to know another way (like Oscar the grouch), or whether you just climb in now and then, as I do... and they not only lift you out, but they make you feel like you are a masterpiece, worthy of bringing out of the garbage can, uncrumpling, smoothing out, and pointing out their worth... these people are one in a million.

I know all about feeling like garbage. After a teenager raped a drunken 15-year old me as I was passed out in the cab of a truck, another teenager drove me home, called me a slut, and dumped me on my front lawn where I could not even walk, before peeling out of the cul de sac and leaving me there, crumpled on the lawn. Like a piece of trash. And that is pretty much what I felt like for the next 15, 20 years.

Sometimes, the people who lift us out of the garbage come in and out of our lives only for a brief time, they appear like angels from heaven... people who make you feel like you are worth something.... and they leave footprints on our hearts forever. I was made to believe that I am, perhaps, not garbage after all. And I want to build the rest of my life surrounding myself with friends who make me feel like not like I am garbage, but that I am a masterpiece worth redeeming.


Susan said...

You are a masterpiece Wendee, God's work of art. Don't ever fall back into the old way of thinking otherwise

Unknown said...

Aww thank you so much Susan - you are too kind! <3

Anonymous said...

I do pray that you'll find the Grace to shed or push back these feelings of inadequacy. I learned some time ago that feelings are facts, in the sense of our own feelings - sad or glad - seeming so real to us, but from what I see you are sure walking a path with heart. No shame there! Believe it, girl!


Unknown said...

The Lord is healing my heart, day by day... I love you daddy! I'm so glad you are in my life!