My son has these spots on his ankle bones - places where his shoes have rubbed the skin raw. They scab over, get rubbed raw again, scab over again, and so on. I can't seem to find shoes that fit him just right, protective coverings that won't cause him pain. Even his Croc's and flip-flops can cause the scabs to flare up.
I'm thinking about this tonight as I ponder the state of my own heart. I just read a good friend's post about how she is committing herself to being vulnerable with God - to trusting that He will give her good gifts and, if He doesn't, that He has a good reason. As I read it I thought to myself, "just wait."
For what? you might ask.
"Just wait until you're disappointed by Him," is my response.
That's when I felt it - the scarring, the bitterness, the disappointment, the anger, sometimes even, the rage. My scabs have been breaking open and reforming for decades now, and every time they do I feel like I have a right to point my finger at God and say, "see, I told you so!"
I told you that you aren't really good.
I told you that you don't really provide.
I told you that you won't really fulfill my heart's desires.
I told you that bad things always happen to me/us.
Life is hard and you don't help. You let awful things happen. Want proof? Look at my scars.
And yet, even as I write, I know that's not true. It's not even close to true. Bad things do happen, yes, but so do many, many immeasurably good things. I can point to so many times that God has taken care of me, provided for me, given me good gifts, fulfilled my heart's desires to the point of overflowing (and when I forget, my friends can help me remember).
I know that He is good. So, what's the deal? Why the scars?
I don't really have a good answer tonight.
I can tell you that the scars are a result of real pain and real choices - choices to believe in lies and make vows with liars.
I can tell you that it takes faith to believe that the scars will heal completely when they keep reappearing, but that I'd rather walk in faith than by sight because, when I do, I see things so much better.
And I can tell you that I want better shoes - shoes that provide a firm foundation instead of a flimsy coating of self-protectiveness that only serves to agitate. I want to let go of the scars to become fully healed. If only that I might encourage my sweet friend rather than spew cynicism her way.
I leave you with one last thought...perhaps I need a time of walking barefoot before I find the right shoes. Exposure to the air seems in order - a place of vulnerability, trust, unknown-ness. Back to my friend's post and the sweet innocence that is willing to press in, trust, believe, hope.