Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Letter to the Tension (Staying and Leaving)

I sat in a pew today at church scribbling furiously to keep up with the message being delivered from the front when you came up. He said your name and I held my favorite black pen, hovering, above the page waiting for the memories of what comes with you to become a little fuzzy, again, in my brain. I can't seem to make the two of you go away, so please know my preference is to simply view you both with the eyes of someone who is in desperate need of aid to see clearly.

Sometimes I'm not sure what hurts more - to view it all clearly and know it can never be what I've asked for time and time, again, or to view it all fuzzy and be left behind with a headache and the reverberating question of why, why, why?


There you were. Open wide and pouring salt into the wound as you traipsed onto my journal page.
Paul has a tension between wanting to go to Jesus and staying with the Philippians. What the cup over this tension is, is his contentment in whatever he will be called to do.

(What is my tension?)
(Is joy cupping over my tension?)
You see, Paul and I have this in common -- a tension over leaving or staying. To leave behind who I was, who I have been, or to stay within the strangled confines of a label I crafted myself. You are right there in the thick of the middle of it; you are the heat that threatens to burn, but promises to warm, simultaneously.

You never keep your promises.

Do I leave behind the girl who found freedom in the letting go? Do I stay and hope that you'll eventually hastily exit and he will finally mean everything that he says? The air is laced heavy with your slithering lies disguised as hope.

And that's what it all boils down to. You are in disguise. I say I won't let you give me hope, won't hear what is said, only just nodding and keeping a full smile at bay - because you often leave a trail for me to find what I think I want only to collect it all up again before completion.

I'm not always sure what I want.

That feeds you, I know. It is the proverbial gasoline to your flame. I imagine you dancing back and forth, back and forth, as I create space and time and then lean full into the fallback. You dance circles around the knowledge that my desire goes on unrealizing what it is I deserve.

Joy is not the roof over the leaving or the staying. It is a wayward, poorly produced roof, laced with indecision and longing; it is saddled with words I pray for and words he plays with; it is a roof made of leaks and stains from the wounds.

You're really not welcome -- mostly because I know you should be irrelevant. I know what I should be doing. I know who I am now compared to that girl I was so many years ago. She is pieced together with the strength I've built within myself today. Lingering moments of naiveté creep in and I believe I have a decision to make.

I don't.

The quicker you dissipate the quicker I can get back to knowing that I don't deserve what lies on the other side of the leaving. I didn't deserve it all those years ago, either.

You can stay. Lie low within the ribcage of someone else.

I need my freedom. It is found in the leaving.

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