It is an unfathomable task to recognize the full incongruities and complexities of the human being. We are born of atoms and molecules, of DNA passed down from our ancestors, of organs and water and bacteria. We function in a physical plane determined by the synapses and chemicals of the brain, influenced by the conscious and unconscious mind. We are endlessly united to each other by the attachments of love, blood or shared experience.
These bodies, these human beings, interact and commune in the sacred dance of living. These sacs of lungs and blood move together in this physical and emotional plane of existence, daring to wound, daring to injure the majesty of it all.
Some of these human beings make the tragic decision that their existence in this vast and unknowable world is significantly more important than other human beings in this vast and unknowable world. So they laugh and they march and they use and they discard, leaving human beings of infinite beauty and value marred and broken.
At the end of the day I am still as a child, mystified by the problem of pain. I can explain away abuse through the context of expectations and power-hungry egos. I can see and study narcissism and personality disorders that act as the human equivalents of black holes. I can walk through the steps towards the release of guilt and fear, but I cannot understand it.
I once asked God in an empty chapel, with light streaming in through the glass stained windows and dust settling on the varnished pews, what I had failed to give him. Why, when I knew his power and grace and love and redemption, was I afraid? He sat me down beside himself, reached into my chest and pulled out my heart. As he held it still beating in his hands, he smiled, and my heart began to bud flowers and vines and small trees.
He took my hand and at once we were flying through a sea of stars, a sense of absolute freedom filling my empty chest. He held me close and turned my head to look at the now-distant earth.
“Where is your home?”
I buried my head in his chest and I cried, for I knew in the deepest parts of my spirit, that my home was in his arms, dancing in this sea of stars.
“Stay with me.”
This post is for everyone who has known deep and incomprehensible pain. I will not write this blog and pretend to understand why human beings use other human beings. I cannot pretend to be dry land in a stormy sea.
But this wisdom is the only lighthouse I have ever trusted: the arms of the Father are safe. The arms of the Father are always and forever open. The arms of the Father are the only place I can truly call home.
As soon as the anger of past hurt arises, I remember the sea of stars. As soon as the fear of judgement of my peers arises, I remember the sea of stars. When thoughts of failure, incompetence, anxiety and regret flood my mind, I remember the sea of stars and run to the arms of the only one whose love I will gladly never comprehend.
In his arms, there is no shame. In his arms, there is no fear. In his arms, there is only love, grace and complete acceptance and celebration of who you are. In his arms, there is eternal freedom.
“Stay with me.”
Vanessa is still conducting interviews for her upcoming book Prince or Poison: Identifying the Difference Between Love and Abuse. If you would like to share your story with Vanessa, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.