Stuff happens. To all of us. Even if you’re born into a world of riches. Even if you’ve attained fame and fortune. Christians often refer to someone as “broken.” We’re broken because we’re all sinners. If you’re not sure, read the Ten Commandments. Jesus is the only One who has ever lived without sin.
Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (NIV). From birth I was fired, glazed, and created into something like the ceramic ashtray I created in high school. And as an infant I was broken. I can’t help but feel that because of my upbringing I’m more broken than most. Even now I pick up the pieces and implore the Lord to help me. Yet, I’m hampered by my distrust of others, and an unsteady faith that plunges me into deep water after a first step.
As an infant I experienced limited bonding and attachment to my parents. In all my life, my mom spoke to me or touched me less than a dozen times. My dad, on the other hand, did speak to me and touch me. He’d scream judgments, “You’re not worth…it!” (For decorum’s sake I’ve left off the s and the h in front of the it.) His physical contact came in the form of kicks, slaps to the head, and lashings using three different widths of leather belts. He was the rampaging steer in the pottery shop that toppled me from the shelf.
Many have recommended I leave the past behind me. That’s it! What a great idea! I’ll just place my past into a box, chain it to a stone, row out to the middle of the sea and push it overboard. Wow, the cost of psychotherapy fees I could have saved. One would think I’d leave my past behind if I could. I’ve dealt with long-term depression and PTSD, to go along with fear of success, failure, commitment, intimacy, and abandonment, to name just a few. I have so many buttons that if I were a cellphone, there would not be an app for that. For example, even now at the age of 60, I consciously need to remind myself that anyone looking at me probably is not a threat. Otherwise, I’m glaring back with hard looks (stink-eye to you younger folks) that say, “What The (blank) are you looking at?”
So, not too long ago, God gave me redemption. After seeking Him, He promptly lifted my acute, severe, or clinical depression (therapists used different terms) as if it were never there. He knew I couldn’t function well with it, despite my own will carrying me over 50 years. I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), but like others, a creature of habit (no, not like a nun!). My habits still compel me to be in control and to trust no one, not even God.
Many recommend I forgive my parents. I agree, but agreeing is a lot easier than doing. I believe forgiveness is the, or in King James vernacular, is thee central theme of the Bible. Several years ago, with Jesus’ guidance, I forgave my mom. I realized she did what I did, closed herself off for protection, and became numb to her feelings. My deceased dad, however, is a work-in-progress. Forgiving him is not anything I can just schedule into my planner. I never thought my forgiving him would happen in my lifetime. But it just might be the last piece to fit into my broken ceramic self. I think I can get there. I know I can with Him. Who knows? Maybe in a blog in the near or far future, it’ll come to you in loud, capital letters.
God has shown me His enormous grace, blessings, and mercy. I’ll regale you with stories of His presence. Other times I’ll ply you with stories of my withering faith, where during dry seasons I feel like nothing more than an uprooted tumbleweed, bounding aimlessly atop scorched desert terrain.
I am in the last quarter of my life. For most of it I’ve used my energy to stay in the game, trying to catch up to tie the score. At some point I’ll be down by only two. Before time runs out, and with God’s promise, I’m going to grab one more rebound, dribble past the half-court line, pull up from forty feet, and with the clock clicking to zero, watch and hear the swish of a 3 pointer: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God wins to a thunderous ovation.
Thanks for reading.