“Listen”: this week’s prompt at fiveminutefriday, a community gathered for unhindered five-minute free-writing exercises.
I’ve spent a lifetime listening to my Self, my moods and feelings, my tainted heart. I’ve spent my years listening to lies and half-truths and distorted accusations. I’ve spent far too long listening to people and history and the enemy of my soul. We’re fabricated by what others say and do, the history of our lives. We’re stitched together by words and weapons and wounds. We lean into these things as if they were the very meat on our bones, the sinew that holds our flesh together. We read truth in every look and leaving, every heavy hand and stifling remark. If they say so, if they think so. . . well, year after year, if they said so, and they thought so, then it must really be so. When so often your legs are cut right out from under you, your heart cut right out and laid bare on the butcher’s block you begin to believe this is your only calling, this is the extent of your worth. There is no higher power but your own lofty desires to be something more, something else. But then the world asks, who do you think you are? What makes you so special? You are no more than who you are, who you’ve always been. In the quiet times you look around bewildered because this stillness is wrong. It’s deceiving. There’s something over the horizon, something behind the next bend. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know it’s coming. This time you won’t be caught off guard. You brace yourself, watching, waiting. Hopeful expectations are fool’s gold and you’re smarter than that. You’ve learned better. This glass-half-full mentality is your best defense. You can only fall as high as your dreams.
But I’ve grown so weary. This defense is my only prison. I deny my own freedom. God has given me a new heart yet I refuse Him. I long to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. He says it’s there. He says it’s here. I tuck my eyes into pages that say I am holy, righteous and redeemed, but I argue my way right out of them.
Who do I think I am?
There must be a procedure, some surgeon somewhere who can rewire me, help me shed this skin of doubt. There must be some way to remake the me I’ve become.
You can’t pour new wine into old skins.
I lift the book and let my eyes land on words so foreign to me, the words they say are true. These are the words I want to know, the words I long to believe. These are the words I’m learning to listen to.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)