She has Chosen the Better Part

I mentioned lectio divina, about a way of reading scripture where you let God illumine what God wants to say through a verse or even phrase that catches you as you read. I want to share this because of a posted conversation with a writing friend. Melinda, this is shared for you.

July 12, 2010

This next entry is rather uncomfortable to share but need to be to show the progress of spirit. It goes back to the impact that I had from a Madeleine L’Engle book in which by naming someone she had rejected, the girl is able to save her brother’s life. Healing came from acceptance. These images are characterizations of feelings and imagery that I have learned to use when confronted with emotions that I am not able to rationalize away. Perhaps it is the writer in me….

I worked at a time in shelters for children and the girls who would cut themselves to get a numb haze of physical pain to silence their inner pain were called slashers. This part of me that reacts to anger and fear by suggestions in my right arm of physical pain has been named for them, and does not relate to an actual action I have taken.

July 12 ( have just returned home from a week up north where I stayed with a friend and had time with a daughter and her family)

“Home – the part of me that hates being alone is protesting – where the Slasher gives feelings of cutting, this part feels like an inner rampage….. She feels like I would imagine a caged, frightened animal would feel. The Slasher part will allow herself to be held. This part growls at me, accusing me of being her captive, launches herself at the bars. But I AM her captor, maybe not intentionally but I am….

“Lord, I feel like I have to ask you to save me by layers. Here are two pieces of me, one that love is beginning to reach, and one that is so wary of love that I don’t feel like I can touch her at all. She is right though. She is part of the fabrique of me and deserves acceptance if I am to become truly whole. Acknowledging her stops the rampage but she retreats to the far corner muttering all the labels I fear in myself like a litany of condemnation.

“But she does not feel like an alien “other” to be exorcized. This is the part that has been my whipping boy all my life so I could stay whole. I have spent my life writing the memories in a book so I could forget – so I could forget her.

“Lord, she is full of so much poison pain – but she is not poison. Help her, Lord. Help this lonely, hurting part of me that is wary of you because I have used you as an excuse for her being caged.

Lord, each time a part gets assimilated, there is another. God, this part is so cruel and self-defeating. I really need your help with this one.

Luke 10:42b “Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken from her.”

“…I understand Martha. …… The story of the 70 seems to focus on Christ, the Messiah. If Jamie is right, the story of the Samaritan focuses on Christ as the needy.

“So is this the Christ of devotion? – Christ, the light on the tree, Christ , the light of love on his face? This Christ show me the way to reach that rampaging part of myself as he enters her cage, walks toward her but doesn’t reach toward her. Instead, he sits down beside her, wraps his arms around his knees like hers, but relaxed, looks toward her, and is simply quiet.

“There are times the “best” part is quiet listening.

“I ask the slasher if she would be willing to sit with that part. She says she will but only if I take away the bars. I say there are no bars, no locked doors. She asks me to take them away. I react with protest fearing what this part would do to my life if the world saw her.

“The Slasher –I am going to rename her “Mary” – does not let me overlook the reaction of fear to this part being free, but calls me on the inner lie about the cage. I acknowledge it. When I begin to move the walls of bars, the image of Jesus takes the other end and helps me move the wall. The bars are thrown over the edge into a nothingness to be no more.

“The voice of my Mary commands that I finish it. It is time for contemplation now as bars are removed.

“But she does not sit with her in that opened space. She walks her to a door and lets her “out”. I don’t think of her as not being there but now there is only an empty room with three walls. An to this the Lord simply says, “Mary has chosen the better part.”

“The bars are cast into the sea where they are dissipated into the waves and become victory. She is loosed through a door that I had not seen before. On the other side of the door are “people”. She moves into their stream and fades from sight into the crowd.

“There is a dizzying empty, calm feeling in my head. She is gone. Just gone. She is not assimilated. She is released. There are things you hold on to and others you let go.

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