I read these words and I am full of anger. Anger at my brain’s refusal to dance in the freedom of these words, anger at not hearing these words enough, anger at the general feeling that this is not what I hear each Sunday morning, anger that I haven’t told these truths to anyone lately. I haven’t articulated these wonders and so haven’t tasted them sweet on my lips.
I am full of anger. Anger that I once more have missed the point, that I could be so easily deceived, that God hasn’t stepped in and magically made me able to believe the soul refreshing truth about him. I am angry and twisty and I toss and turn, unable to speak again to this God who I thought I knew but whom I find myself unable to talk to.
I have a husband who cherishes me, who holds me in the night, who whispers truth in my ears as I sob and sob. I have a husband who makes me laugh, who tickles my grumpy moods away and who wraps me tight as I crawl exhausted back to bed each night. I can believe his love, tangible, there, present. He’s not perfect, he doesn’t get it right all the time but maybe it’s easier to accept the love because of that. Maybe I accept because I know the imperfections and the holes. Maybe my everything must be equal and fair personality makes it easy to accept because I think we are on the same level.
How can I dare to believe that God’s love is better than this love? God’s love seems so remote, austere, disappointed, hard to get, unimaginable. A love that puts up with me, a love that has to love me. A love so perfect that it’s hollow and cold.
Yet I know I’ve tasted this real love talked about, I know I’ve tasted a love so sweet, young and delighted. I know I’ve been held close in the middle of the night unable to breathe because my chest is so tight in awe at a love that will not let me go, that tells me I’m beautiful, that leads me into new ways of living well, that strengths me to love others, that cherishes and nurtures and protects.
I know somewhere deep in me that this is how it works.
But I am angry that I have forgotten how to believe it. I’m angry that it’s so hard to be free. I’m angry that the mud sticks to my boots and drags me down into pools of despair. I am angry that I don’t know how to talk to my friend anymore.
Still, anger feels good, anger feels like something wrong is about to be righted, anger rages deep within and something stirs. Anger is better than clawing sadness or silent despair. I am awake at last.
For these words are wonderfully deeply refreshingly true:
A lover who reminds us of how pitiful we were without him, who wins our affection and obedience by telling us we owe him, who keeps us close by whispering threats of what he will do if we leave is not a lover. He is an abuser.
Thank you Alice for daring to write such beauty and truth.