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Wrecking Ball With Razors

I, like you,
Am failing
Every day.

Will I ever get used to
This yanking in my guts?
Acid in my core
That makes me press
Face to floor
As if I could escape
That way.

As if the ground
Would open its arms
To receive me down
Into blackness,
Swallow me whole
And bless me with

Down here,
Knees splayed,
Pelvis and forehead
Jutting into the hard ground,
I begin to know
That I am nothing,
Like the dirt
That I was made from.
Failure and let down
Are my default settings.

There is a sickness
That has afflicted humanity
For 5,000 years of recorded history;
That terminal illness whose
Symptoms are war, and rape,
And hate, and deceit,
Greed, lust, jealousy, rage,
Eating cake while others suffer.
Selfishness. Self righteousness.
And a thousand other symptoms.
A billion times worse than terminal cancer.
Cancer patients are victims.
But we are criminals.

“Nobody’s perfect,” we say.
Which is a nice way of saying
“We’re all drunk drivers,
About to kill someone,”
As if this somehow erases the danger.
Or excuses it.

And I get it. What does a fish
Do about water? Or better,
What does a fish do about
Being a fish?

My distress comes,
Always comes,
From thinking
I should be better,
And gritting my teeth
And yanking my bootstraps,
Breaking my legs,
To make it so.

I, like you,
Have a standard
Too high for me,
And get bruised by it

I, like you,
Grade myself on a curve
To excuse my failures,
While grading those around me
With no mercy whatsoever.

I, like you,
Can’t always explain
Why I do what I do.
And I am afraid someone
Will ask me the question
That exposes me for what I am.

I don’t know what that question is,
But I suspect there is one.

I, like you,
Just want someone to love me
As I am. And like you, suspect
This is a ludicrous request.
For who could know me
Like I know me, and still love me?
Who could see the mess
In my basement, with rotting
Food and bones and maggots,
And call me worthy?

I, like you,
Have bruises on my knees
And patterns on my forehead
From burrowing down into concrete
Seeking peace.

I, like you,
Need to be saved
Every single day.

That’s why I’m down here.
Like an animal in a corner.

I can show you how to catch wild chipmunks
with a Ziploc, a stick, some peanut butter, and a long piece of twine.

When you catch one
In a gallon Ziploc baggie
It immediately goes limp. Immediately.
Doesn’t struggle to escape the bag.
Just lays there breathing.
Like a tourist in a hammock.
It will baffle you.

But I think this is wisdom.
To know when you are mastered.
To know when you’ve run out of options.

The reason I fall on the floor,
Whispering cries to God for mercy
Is that same instinct.
It takes me a little longer
To stop my thrashing.

But as I come to know
That I am nothing,
That my way isn’t in me,
That I am not supposed
To have the answers,
As I know that I am a
Mix between wrecking ball
And razor, and as I tremble to know
That I am capable of far more evil
Than I can fathom,
And as I despair of fixing this
With a thousand doctors
Or a thousand books
Or a thousand
New Year’s resolutions,

Breathing slows. Quiet comes.

And I am ready for the Potter
To begin His work again today.

The Son of Man said,
With compassion in His eyes,

“It is not the healthy
Who need a doctor,
But the sick.”

Can we let Him come around behind us,
Can we let Him grab our wrist
And take the scalpel out of our hand.

The gunbarrel from beneath our chin.

Can we let Him love us.
And doesn’t knowing
We don’t deserve it
Make it all the sweeter
When He does?

Reckless, asinine failure.
Insecure, people-pleasing coward.
Filthy, pus-encrusted Monster.

You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.

Your name is Loved.

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