If You've Lived It

I want to write about the old things; the great chasms of religion and relationship that shaped me. I want to open my mouth and let everything spill out. I want to scream, I want to cry. I want to be done with it.

I want to expose the hypocrisy. I want to name the abusers. I want to shove them out of my formative years and stand up to their bullying. I want to cut right to the heart of their bullshit. I want to break open the dam. I want to stand up for myself.

But I'm just sitting in a diner, living this life... the one shaped by them. I'm staring at the pile of shame and rules that have nothing to do with Jesus, or his intentions for me. I'm navigating the road I chose without knowing I was choosing it.

I see their churchy words and prophetic nonsense and my stomach turns. I'm living that life, you know, the one you said I should live. When I cross over your invisible lines I cringe because I know you're watching.

The thing is, I've kind of stopped caring what you think. Part of me wants you to challenge me. Part of me wants your nostrils to flare; your shoulders to scrunch up. Part of me wants you to turn your head and whisper about how far I've strayed.

Because the farther I get from you, the closer I get to Jesus.

You were the thing standing in the way all this time. You were the wall keeping the beauty out. You were the broken people trying to pretend like you were whole and holy.

And if you had just known that, spoken it, maybe things would have been different. Maybe if you hadn't backed away from the bleeding people in your own home you would have known the joy of mercy. Maybe truth would have soaked into your dry, dry hearts.

Maybe I wouldn't be sitting in this diner, thinking about your brutal distortion of love.

But that's on you. That's for you to own or deny.

I won't own it.

I won't shrink away, letting your shame rest on my already heavy heart.

I won't search for my fault in your sin.

I stand before Jesus too and my own life is riddled with learned hypocrisy and sin. I have my own sack of trouble to lay before him.

So, keep yours.

And, if this makes you sick, or makes you question, then lift the veil of your heart.

Place it on the arms of the cross.

It isn't shame. It's surrender.

*September 2012