Broken Cracks

To the one who feels left behind – 

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I sit in the old wooden pew, the stained glass reaching up to the sky above me. It’s dreary outside – rain softly making its way into swirling puddles below. The umbrella shields us from the rain, but the humidity clings to us in dampened shirts and unruly curls.

It’s silent in the old church. Tall, echoing, we make our way into the old pew. I lean forward and I pray for you. Tears in my eyes, I feel the weight of the burden so deeply upon my heart I can’t help but fold hands as an offer of surrender. I wish words were enough to take away the sting of your hurt. I wish I could tell you, in the most simplistic of ways, you’ll be okay. You’ll walk through the heartache and you’ll cry and it isn’t fair. Oh, how it isn’t fair and words will never take away the unfairness of it all.

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The protective part of me wants to reach forward and take that hurt away from you. I want to take it on me. I want to be the one that is stinging from his rejection, from his back, from his words. I don’t want you to be wrestling with it. 

I want it to be mine.

And yet, in the old church, lit candles that flickering as we walk past – it is all so clear that I cannot take the pain from you.

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And if I keep reaching, keep begging you to lay it on me – I’d miss the point.

It’s supposed to change you. But don’t let it make you bitter. Let it push you to be the one who you were created to be – the one that doesn’t follow in his footsteps. The one that stands taller. The one who lets pain wash over them and break knowing that in a moment, you’ll be healed. Broken cracks are there to let light in. Let line shine in the cracks.

Let light shine in.

I can’t offer you more than that. I can offer you my tears, and I can offer you my prayers, and I can offer you a promise – I’ll be with you every step of the way. I believe in you. You aren’t forgotten and you aren’t left behind.

As we sit there in the pew, I pull out the bound blue book. I assume it to be a book of Common Prayer in the old Anglican cathedral, but it’s not. It’s a Book of Common Praise.

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And I sift through the pages until I come to one of the hymns that I know, Be Thou My Vision. And I wonder why words of praise are in front of me, as tears dry on my cheeks – and I remember – the light. The only way we’ll ever find hope in the midst of broken cracks is to let some of the light in. And so I read the words over and over again – a prayer –

a search for the Light. The Goodness that’s found in all things.

I pray you find some of that light today – in the broken cracks – in the rain filled puddles – in the way a tear makes its way down your face. It’s there.

I promise.

It’s Okay to Swim.

Today, nestled against the old wooden column, you felt the familiar heartache, the one you’ve felt since you were a little girl and you exchanged hurtful words with your hero. Tears threatened to fall, mixing with the peeling paint, as you leaned against it, sure you were in need of the support.

People keep disappointing you – and he will keep disappointing you. He will keep shattering your hopes because you keep expecting him to know what they are when he just doesn’t.

It doesn’t mean it’s not okay to be sad. You fear those tears because you’re afraid you’ll drown in them.

But my darling, sometimes you are so afraid of drowning that you forget it’s okay to swim.

Sometimes you so fear getting your heart broken that you forget it’s still good to fall in love.

Sometimes you fear people leaving so you hold your arms closed, but arms were never meant to be empty for long.

Life is meant to be this delicate, beautiful balance of extremes. Lots of times you’ll get it wrong. But so many times you’ll get it right, too.

Just don’t hold the broken pieces so close. I know it’s hard. I know it’s seemingly impossible. But life is not meant to be a series of safe, calculated risks. We don’t learn on the shore. We don’t grow when life is filled with shallow, meaningless friendships.

We learn and we grow when we cry. When we tell the ones who’ve hurt us that they’re letting us down. When you fall for the boy because his heart and his voice make your heart dance. When you open your arms and hold the broken even though in the process you’ll end up getting a little broken, too.

That’s how we grow.

So next time let the tears fall against the peeling paint of that column. Let it hold you.

You’ll find yourself standing, alone, a little stronger, in no time.

 

Silent Prayers & Creators of Beauty

\It was dark in the studio. I had always hated how it got so dark with the shades drawn. The slingback chairs were the kind you sunk back into, and as we sat across from each other there wasn’t much light but the lamps illuminating the black chalkboard wall behind me.

I am in many ways a seeker of wisdom, and when life began to shatter around me that fall, I sought out those who I knew could speak wisdom in my life. This woman, my professor, an artist, was one of those people. She wore dark glasses perched on her nose, and her dark gray hair was what I hoped someday my own would look like. She was kind, gentle, and taught me so much about my art and how to create. As I poured out my heart to her, and laid bare the broken rubble that had become my family, she spoke quietly into the empty studio.

“Keep creating,” she said. “Keep painting. Keep losing yourself in your art.” I had nodded in response, the familiar tears welling in my eyes because I knew that sometimes brushstrokes were simple prayers when words simply weren’t enough.

Continue reading “Silent Prayers & Creators of Beauty”

I Looked for Love in Your Eyes

I think if there is one thing that has been on my heart lately, it is how much our sin affects those around us. I think we like to live in the imaginary world that the sin we commit only harms our hearts, our lives, our souls. But what we tend to forget is that we are a part of the Body of Christ. And what that means is that when one part of the body is damaged, it affects the others. So when one of us falls, we hurt the others around us. When we sin – the consequences are not only borne on our own souls and bodies, but the consequences are passed to our siblings, to our family, and to our children.

Because sin is never satisfied. Ever.


It seeks to devour. The Enemy seeks to devour whatever it can. And because of this, sin just doesn’t stop at us. It wreaks havocs in families. It wreaks havoc in relationships. It wreaks havoc for generations to come.

Praise God that He offers us redemption. Praise God that He offers us His Spirit to protect, to guide, to lead us away from that path of destruction.

But that path is a wide one, a horrible one that we so easily find ourselves walking. And today my sister passed on this link to me, a poem that a wife wrote to her husband who is addicted to pornography.

Because pornography doesn’t just damage the one who consumes it. It damages one’s spouse, it damages the children, and it damages the woman or man who are onscreen. It’s effects are widespread.

Pornography is something which devours.


And so, with a sorrowful heart, I include her poem here. You can find the original post here.

I Looked For Love in Your Eyes

“I saved my best for you.
Other girls may have given themselves away,
But I believed in the dream.
A husband, a wife, united as one forever.

Nervous, first time, needing assurance of your love,
I looked for it in your eyes
Mere inches from mine.
But what I saw made my soul run and hide.

Gone was the tenderness I’d come to know
I saw a stranger, cold and hard
Distant, evil, revolting.
I looked for love in your eyes
And my soul wept.

Who am I that you cannot make love to me?
Why do I feel as if I’m not even here?
I don’t matter.
I’m a prop in a filthy play.
Not an object of tender devotion.

Where are you?

Years pass
But the hardness in your eyes does not.
You think I’m cold
But how can I warm to eyes that are making hate to someone else
Instead of making love to me?

I know where you are.
I’ve seen the pictures.
I know now what it takes to turn you on.
Women…people like me
Tortured, humiliated, hated, used
Discarded.
Images burned into your brain.
How could you think they would not show in your eyes?

Did you ever imagine,
The first time you picked up a dirty picture
That you were dooming all intimacy between us
Shipwrecking your marriage
Breaking the heart of a wife you wouldn’t meet for many years?

If it stopped here, I could bear it.
But you brought the evil into our home
And our little boys found it.
Six and eight years old.
I heard them laughing, I found them ogling.

Hands bound, mouth gagged.
Fisheye photo, contorting reality
Distorting the woman into exaggerated breasts.
The haunted eyes, windows of a tormented soul
Warped by the lens into the background,
Because souls don’t matter, only bodies do
To men who consume them.

Little boys
My little boys
Laughing and ogling the sexual torture
Of a woman, a woman like me.
Someone like me.

An image burned into their brains.

Will their wives’ souls have to run and hide like mine does?
When does it end?

I can tell you this. It has not ended in your soul.
It has eaten you up. It is cancer.
Do you think you can feed on a diet of hatred
And come out of your locked room to love?

You say the words, but love has no meaning in your mouth
When hatred rules in your heart.
Your cruelty has eaten up every vestige of the man
I thought I was marrying.
Did you ever dream it would so consume you
That your wife and children would live in fear of your rage?

That is what you have become
Feeding your soul on poison.

I’ve never used porn.
But it has devastated my marriage, my family, my world.

Was it worth it?”

Pornography is NOT the Problem

As many of you may or may not know, I have been researching for my Honors thesis in the area of female pornography use and its effects.  It’s been a highly enlightening journey as I’ve spent hours reading, researching, and writing. I am not done writing, although the research part is finished.

During this journey, what I have found is a heartache deep within me for the devastation that pornography, or any sexually explicit material really, causes. It destroys and distorts something God created uniquely and inherently beautiful. It dishonours He who created love, and brings shame and pain to those who walk in its path. It never satisfies what it claims to satisfy, for lust is never satisfied. It always leaves us wanting more.

And yet as I’ve read statistic after statistic, as I’ve read cries from woman who are broken by their addiction, as I’ve read the beautiful redemption stories of Christ redeeming those shattered by pornograpy’s grasp: I am reminded that pornography is not the problem.


Let me explain myself when I say this. All the research I have read is good. All of it! It sheds light on a dark, hidden area so many of us struggle with. But unless we deal with the heart, taking away the pornography will never heal anything. It’s the same when men say that if women were to be more modest, it would prevent them from sinning lustfully in their hearts. One man commented on an article that I read that men are designed with a deep desire to “see a woman naked.” (And that is directly quoted!) And therefore, “While not good for the women, the Taliban understood how to keep men from having sexual thoughts … cover the female with layers and layers of heavy cloth. The most sexually pure time I ever experienced was the summer I spent living among a strict Islamic society.” (You can read the original article and find this man’s comments here.)

And I am reminded, Women are not the problem here. 


Pornography is not the problem here.


It’s something so much deeper. So much harder to deal with. So much of a painful process of being broken and vulnerable before the only Healer, of opening our hearts up to the painful sin that resides there and letting HIM make us clean. If we forget to deal with the heart’s sin and deal only with the outward behaviour, we are missing a huge part of the picture here. We need to recognize that struggles with porn and lust and any sin is a heart issue, and allow God to cleanse our hearts and make us pure … and then the outward behaviour will follow suit.