living loveliness- let it go

The sun is shining today for the first time in weeks, but today I find myself in the basement- the place where I go with arms full of dirty laundry and everything that stinks.  Today I am hiding out here in this cold dark place in my soul.  To be honest I have been here all week.

I was hurt this week.  The kind of cold, shocking hurt that takes away your breath.

And it is not for lack of trying that I am still here, still shaken and hurting.  I want to shake it off.  Truly friends, I am drawing on all of my resources of love and grace, quoting to myself every verse on forgiveness.  I lie awake at night begging God for that mysterious power to forgive, to let go, to love love love.


And this is what I know:

I have no love in me, no kindness, no mercy or grace apart from Christ.

I have no ability to forgive- it is supernatural.  All I can do is hope to forgive, desire to forgive, and in the way that He has given it to me in the past-- slowly, eventually, one day, I will find that I have forgiven.  I am still waiting and hoping for that day.

I know that this is the stuff of faith.  This hurting, this wrestling, this trying and failing to love is the real grit of what I claim to believe.   My love for Christ is only revealed by how sincerely I love others.

There is no "unfriending" in Christ; no hardness, no revenge, no record of wrongs, no root of bitterness.  We are not given the option of isolation. There is only vulnerability, gentleness, peacemaking; bear all, believe all, hope all, endure all.


This is what I know:  I know that prisoners reside in basements. Grace throws open the windows, grace pours into every corner.  I know that there is no freedom, no deep resonating laughter, no green glory of life in basements.  I must find my way to the light again, however painful it may be.

I know that Christ was wounded, that I wounded him, and with every wound he just opened his arms up wider and wider, letting the whole world in.  I must open wide my arms too.

I know that I have life
only insofar as I have love.
I have no love
except it come from Thee.
Help me, please, to carry
this candle against the wind.

-Wendell Berry, Sabbaths, 2005


Comments

Misha Leigh. said…
I so needed this today (this month, this year) and you have my prayers. I think you are brave and true and I admire that deeply in a woman who could so easily justify the right to another response. Thank you.

My prayers is not just for his help - but his surprise encouragements in your steps of courage!

much love to you!
Misha Leigh. said…
Still been thinking of you. I am working on a canvas today about letting go and you keep coming back to my mind. Lots of prayers and love sent to you today.

(I also keep thinking of that scripture in Lamentations: "yet this I remember and therefore I have hope, his steadfast love never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning...great is his faithfulness" - praying for that specifically for you. )
Jessica said…
Misha, these mean the world to me! Thank-you!
Fijufic said…
I sure hope your hurting subsides.

Forgiveness without being able to forget the unpleasant episode may not be forgiving in true essence and yields only partial healing.

I hope you are able to find something positive out of this issue. My hope is that it passes quickly.

Your friendship has been a a great gift. I love the way you see things even when you are down and out.

Cheers,
Bobby
Amy said…
You probably have no idea who I am. I graduated from MVNU with you. I don't know how I happened upon your blog but I've been reading it for some time now. You are an excellent writer and always so inspiring.

I finally decided to comment because this entry was especially encouraging to me. I experienced this kind of hurt in the past few years and still find myself dealing with things.

Thank you for sharing your heart. I want to open my arms. I don't want to live in the basement. I am inspired, encouraged, and challenged.
Elizabeth said…
Jess - this was a beautiful encouragement to read, both the first time I read it and again just now. I love the way you expressed this... We are not given the option of isolation. It is so true. And yet at times most certainly to choose to embrace this is to choose the road not taken. I am certain that your desire to love and forgive makes our Father smile. I'm praying for you today.

p.s. I've been meaning to tell you that I appreciated your kind words in a recent comment... and your prayers. Thanks!
charrette said…
I so needed this today! Wellm actually, I needed it desperately YESTERDAY. I'm doing better today. I dropped by just to say hello, since I'm rarely in bloglandia any more...and of course I start reading and just can't stop. I don't have time to leave comments everywhere, but I'll drop them here and there.

XO

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