Shadowboxing.

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Once upon a time, I fell in love. “Slowly, then all at once.” It wasn’t planned or perfect or convenient. It was lovely and terrible all at the same time. He held out his umbrella for me in the rain, we stargazed on rooftops and took long walks through winding streets. Really, everything you want from a whirlwind romance.

The problem was the entire relationship was built on a lie. The problem was I was honest with my feelings and reactions. He decided not to be. Not to say that I have any bitterness against this person now. It’s taken hundreds of runs, crying in the dark and unhealthy coping mechanisms to realize he was just a person who made a mistake. I, too, made the mistake of trusting someone too quickly. I wanted him so badly to be better than anyone I had met before that he became my idol. I chose to look the other way when questionable motives arose or grey area actions came into play. Instead of seeing who he truly was, faults and all, I created a porcelain veneer to set on top of his humanity. 

Once upon a time, I fell in love. “Slowly, then all at once.” I doubted He cared about me. It seemed foolish, given how much I sinned and lusted, how much I hated everything and everyone. It was planned and perfect and all I had to do was say yes. To grace. To life. To someone worth living for. He held me back from jumping, we spent late nights talking and took long runs witnessing His handiwork. The best part is, He chose me. He was my first love. Sometimes, I wonder how He can still accept me, how I betray Him so often. It is because His love is so grand, so vast, so boundless that my sins are flecks of dust in sunlight. Even something plain and worthless becomes beautiful in marvelous light.

It’s not easy. Life lived beyond the shadows of guilt and regret often feels brave at best, brash at worst. But, today, I can say it’s worth it. Today, the ashes of my life dance in light, dust transformed into flesh once more. A wise man once said that the past is not fate, but it is a record. It does not foreshadow our futures, only where we come from. I have spent too much of life coping, drawing life from the drone of a TV screen or the fantasies sold by man. It is time to fall back in love with who truly matters.

I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made this life. This monstrous, dark thing–a house of horrors. But I believe that your light surpasses all understanding and will set me free. So please, I’m chasing after you again, like you chased after me.

Once upon a time, He fell in love. “Slowly, then all at once.” About 3 years of ministry with a few close friends and a generous following. At the eleventh hour, He seemed terribly alone yet still wanted to love and forgive. In the end, He rose again. It was planned and perfect and excruciating. He let them touch the wounds in His hands. He loved, forgave and had fish with them by the lake.  It was true love. It’s hope that tomorrow, even through wounds, death, betrayal and suffering, we can love.

“Out of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

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