Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Welcome to the In-Between


Welcome to the In-Between


Welcome to the in-between.

I’d tell you to pull up a chair, 

but the furniture here never seems to quite fit.

I’d say, “Make yourself comfortable,”

but we’d only laugh—

as though comfort were not the one most pressing desire at the forefront of your mind.


God is here;

this I know.

But you don’t feel it at first.


It begins with discomfort.

Maybe a pebble lodged in your shoe,

or maybe an entire limb 

severed from your body.

Whatever it is cannot be ignored.

People will talk to you

as though nothing has changed,

as though you’re the same person from before,

who had all her limbs and shoes without pebbles.


At first the shame is from the new identity 

that you did not choose.

But then, as time passes,

the shame is about the way you have responded to your wounds.


Welcome to the in-between—

the place for the hard and holy work of healing.

It doesn’t feel like healing at first, 

this painful stripping away.

It feels mostly like surviving.

Sometimes you remember faintly

what it was like to to do something—anything—other than “just” surviving.

Such grief over the memory of it

and the missing limb

and the loss of people who understood

and the pebble in your shoe

and the ill-fitting furniture.

Sometimes you long to just sink

into a comfy chair and rest.


Then


one day


when you are “just” surviving,

exerting the Herculean effort to breath…


you will find that every breath you draw in,

and every exhale that goes out,


is the whisper of the name of the God who seemed so distant.


And all this time,

They were as close to you as your next breath.


The ground around you is littered with all the not-you that has fallen away

and all there is in this moment

is Breath—

the Divine Breath through which God blessed you with life.

Many times, it has felt more like a curse,

but that was Before,

when all the not-you distracted you from the Breath.


Welcome to the in-between.

It won’t feel safe, exactly.

Safety is having your needs met,

and you have felt so needy.

It mostly doesn’t feel brave;

you’ve only done what you felt you had to do.

But it may begin to feel

a little

like

healing.

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