We travel the road to the place where I began.
The place where I got broken.
We watch the parade. Then take a walk around the old neighborhood before sitting at a table for eight, many of us missing.
And days hopscotch back to life as a little girl grown, holding a hand that keeps her safe, walks to school and the store and past houses played in long ago.
Feelings sweetly sad mingle and swirl, like spices bubbling in gravy. And the aroma is inviting yet the feelings pierce like the knife that cuts the breast when we all give thanks.
And break bread.
And like so many crumbs, there are bits and pieces of us that have fallen or been brushed away.
Broken pieces of all those years with all the tears join together. Master Artist rendering a beautiful mosaic over time.
But brokenness can hide while lurking in laughter. Or behind a smile.
And I won’t let myself cry at the end of the evening, back home with him who has vowed to love me. And in the silence of his arms I am all missing, and all remembering; one big, blurry mess yet not a tear slips down my cheek.
He tells me it is alright to cry, that it may be necessary. Healing.
I say I am strong, that my faith has grown in the valleys. So I hold it all together, hold it all in.
And hurt during hours slow and wakeful, cold night becoming day.
Pondering in prayer as the sun rises.
Son loves me.
Broken places as well as the buffeted.
Hurting parts along with the healed.
Scarred under the smooth.
Strong and not so strong.
All of me.
The real me. The me with littered past from broken bits of others who helped break me, not even knowing. All of us bruised and battered.
All of us the same, while each so beautifully unique. Each a precious gift with a gift to offer each other and the world.
With art in hearts that hold the awful ache.
Ache needing release yet sometimes making crazy.
And the crazy in my life has often spun right out of control, off the charts, until a screeching halt slammed me into a brick wall.
And I woke up.
And His nail scarred hands all bloody reached out in grace and lifted me from the rubble. Heart to heart, resuscitating. Wrapping me in love all baby soft. Holding me as I take first steps.
New life looking back doesn’t collapse my soul, yet still tugs at heartstrings making music violin wistful.
But the song is beautiful nonetheless because it is my song, my story.
Telling my story tethers my heart to His. And can resonate with yours.
And in a mysterious and powerful way Light shines on the broken pieces and Jesus kisses our hurts away…
You have a story, too. A story to tell about an ache that only He can heal, or has healed. And all of our stories, they help all of us.
And He who became broken in body with blood poured out, poured Himself into me. Me on bended knee, and Him bending down to pick me up.
Never letting me go.
Never letting you go.
Even when all I could offer up was brokenness.
For none of us can really escape life on earth without something touching us that breaks us somewhere inside. A place we often lock away out of fear, shame or pride. A place we cover with anger and control. A place of people-pleasing peril to our own souls. A place we pretend is perfect when it is not.
But He is. Perfect. And the whole of His perfect love will fill up the hole in our hearts.
And it doesn’t matter how we got broken, or when or where. Whether a parent hurt us, or someone we loved died, or someone else we loved stopped loving us and left.
We are all as fragile as Grandmother’s Austrian crystal goblet at the table, with wounded child-hearts that need healing.
And the only place we get better is the Cross.
The Cross where stripes heal, and blood spilled fills hearts all leaking.
And healing comes in layers. One after the other. Like an onion. With tears as you slice deeper. Continuing all through our lives, in increments as we are ready to receive.
Tears that teach and mercy severe, though sweetly new every morning. Mercy spilling over and cups running over with blood red wine that stains a holiday cloth yet covers the stain of our sins all gone.
So I lift my glass to Him, the One who drank from the cup that was His alone.
And keep saying thank you…
Parkway photo compliments of Jessamyn