Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Box (Week 10)

My friend Marcia has three red bird feathers stuck to the outside of her kitchen window. I worry about that bird, despite her continued assurance that she's “sure he's fine.” I don't know how you leave a clump of yourself on someone's window and be fine. But I join her in hoping for the best. Justine says that if you see a bird on the ground who has flown into a window, you should put a box over it for awhile. That will let it be safe and regain itself. Then you remove the box and the bird will fly away. “Unless it's dead.” Thanks, Justine.

This is my tenth week in the box.

Lessons From Week Ten:

I've had all this time on my hands. There isn't much you can do from inside the box. Lots and lots of time, and lots and lots of pain. Broken wings and hearts and clumps of your feathers all around town. I laid around unconscious for awhile, and I've cried many times, and other sweet souls have met me here and other confusing souls have said all the wrong things, and worse yet, some haven't said anything. I've sat around and gained 5 pounds and watched all six seasons of How I Met Your Mother. I did these things because it's all I could do. I could cry, and sleep, and eat, and talk, and watch sitcoms.

Then, week ten. I started flossing.

That's how it started. I thought to myself, well, I've got a lot of time on my hands. Sure, I could go conquer the world I guess, but so far my list of abilities since that glass-hitting incident is: cry, sleep, eat, talk, watch sitcoms. Not ready for world conquering. But you know, I could floss.

And I could do yoga.

I could start actually taking vitamins and eating breakfast.

I could read my Bible.

I could find some excellent books.

I could find (slowly, gently, bravely) a few new friends.

And so it went.

I find myself being grateful for this season of life, in week ten. I'm thanking God that He gave me a box. A window of time to heal, to recover, to regain myself. Dare I say it, love myself. And, amazingly, I am finding that this is a good and right thing to do. I feel my muscles stretch in a yoga pose, and I think, “I'm taking care of my body.” I wonder how long it's been since I've actually felt attached to my body. Since we've been friends.

I read God's Word and cry. I read other people's words and I cry. I remember that I love words. More than anything I love words. I wonder how long it's been since I knew that as deeply as I know it this week, from the box.

I find myself sitting across the table from women I barely know, and I hear my voice in the room. I nod as they talk and I hear them and my heart resonates. I wonder how long it's been since I wasn't trying to lead, or teach, or hurry, or fix. I wonder how long it's been since I just showed up as Kylee. How long since I simply brought what I have and left with full arms.

I went grocery shopping tonight. I thought about what I would feed my husband this week. And my heart lit up. I realized for the first time that I liked that I could feed the people I love. That I could make food with my hands and invite them to a beautiful table. I wonder how long (I wonder if ever) it's been since I actually enjoyed this instead of feeling so pressured to get-stuff-done-hurry.

Lesson from Week 10: The box is a gift.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


All I kept thinking today as I should have been thinking other things, as I stood and shook hands and sat and nodded and did all the motions, is this: I want to go home.

I don't know these people. I don't want to know these people. I don't know these songs. I don't want to know these songs. I don't know the rules. I don't want to know the rules. This place is fine, but I want to go home.

Then the crushing next part: I don't have a home anymore.

I've recently started to think about what I want my life to be about. What I am to be about. Here's one part I know for sure: I want to reveal the beauty in things. And I want to tell the truth.

Here's the truth: The thought of what has been lost and of starting over is indescribably painful.

And here's the beauty and the truth: We have a God who can raise the dead.

Those words circle in my mind and my heart and my fingers and my toes and the tips of my ears, and as painful as it is I can't escape the great hope of those words. There is so much grief and loss and unbelievable hurt. And in the midst of it- my bloodied heart learns a new way. Learns to weep and worship in the same beat, in the same motion, in the same song. My home is coming.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Living

I have so much time on my hands these days. Here's what I've been up to:

1. I move from sitting on my couch to laying on my bed to standing by the fridge in various sequences.

2. I watch three to four hours of TV a day (in my living room or in my bedroom, that's how I spice it up).

I was whining about this yesterday. I said, “When there isn't anything to do, I just can't seem to do anything.” And then one of those annoyingly wise people in my life said, “There's too much to do for you to do nothing. The world is too lonely for you to be alone.” She said it kindly, of course.

And of course she's right. It just isn't true that there is nothing to do. There is a world full of things to do. Exciting things that most people don't have the time to do. And of course I don't really need to complain about being alone either, because the fact is that there are a lot of people in the world. A lot.

The reason, then, for what I hope to be human nature and not just my own sloth- can't be that there isn't anything to do or anyone to see. That doesn't really check out. So what's going on here? (That's my question of the day. The topic of this post: What's going on here?)

My friend contacted me a little while ago about teaching art in after school programs. I love students. I love art. I stayed on my couch. I never even clicked the link she sent. Never responded. I played Angry Birds for 45 minutes. What's going on here?

I'm just scared. I think we're just scared.

We're scared to live with that much hope. That much joy. That much freedom. I'm scared to start something on my own. I'm scared to live like that. You put yourself out there and then you're OUT THERE and it seems lonely and like I would be opening myself up to all sorts of pain and failure and disappointment. I want it to be someone else's idea, someone else in charge, someone else who goes for it and I want to follow behind them at a safe distance.

Here's the thing I've been learning of late (one of a million): You can't cut yourself off from pain without also cutting yourself off from joy. It doesn't work. You can't cut yourself off from risk without cutting yourself off from deep love. We don't hope, we don't go for it, we don't live because we're too scared. It's occurring to me that in my attempt to stay safe I'm losing life as I was called to live it: abundant and free and full of faith and hope and love. I want to want a life like that more than I'm scared to have it.

"So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, 'I am holy; you be holy.'" 1 Peter 1:13-16

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Peter Not Judas (A Prayer)

Lord, there have been too many Judases. Judases who, with a kiss, sold love for a bag of coins. Let it not be so of us. Change our hearts from his. Help us turn. Don't leave us now- to fall in the field we bought without you- clutching our counterfeit comforts- knives in our backs and hands forever.

Jesus, I pray that it was Peter's face looking at me. And that my face was his as I stared back without any words. Give us hearts like Peter. I want more than anything, in the silence after the crowing, to be asked if I love you and I want my good heart to say yes. I want to embrace my brothers on the shore next to your fire and I want to sit down with them and feast on your goodness.

Lord who knows all things, you must know that we love you. Teach us how to love each other. To Repent. To Forgive.