One week. Two funerals. Same Old Testament verse. Each hearing brought different feelings. The first time, for my Mother-in-Law, I appreciated the reading for her sake. The second…well that’s what’s got me writing. But it was the New Testament reading that prompted the different feelings. 2nd Corinthians 5:6 reads “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.”
We are at home in the body, but absent from the Lord who “walks” with us through the valley of the shadow of death? I’m sure there’s some theological, scholarly explanation for this apparent contradiction but it disturbed my Spirit. I was immediately reminded of this poem I wrote:
Stop asking me to pray
Stop telling me it’s the only way
I’m aware of my life today
As I was aware that long ago yesterday
No one told me then to pray
No one saved me on that dark day
No God of wrath came to slay
The evil dragon taking my life away
No God of love protected me that day
No God of love watched as my life slipped away
No love at all as my heart rent and frayed
There was no God of love to save me that day
Stop asking me to pray.
I was at home in my body, absent from the Lord and while in the valley of the shadow of death, I was scared, afraid and alone. There was no rod or staff for my comfort. There were no still waters or green pastures. There was only the taking of my 8 year old soul. And here I am today with no table before my enemies, no oil to anoint my head and no cup to runneth over. If this is goodness and mercy, I’m pretty sure I’m opting out.
I have to learn how to be at home in my body anyway. That would be my goodness. Being at home in my own body would be the green pasture, the still waters, the cup that runneth over, the very oil of anointing. Being at home in my own body. And if being at home in my own body is being absent from the Lord, it wouldn’t be a new thing.
See what the abuser did was kill my Spirit. And that, in Biblical terms, is death meaning absence from the Lord. So I’ve been absent already and by the abuser’s design. But he took my body too. And now I’m taking it back.
To write the words never wrote
To speak words never spoke.
To see that which was never seen
The hallowed past visits, unclean.
The tree stands testifying to the past
Yet ever present, living to the last.
Serenity not found
To the past you feel bound
The crow soars
On the air so light
The Sparrow flits in flight
No closed doors
On trees do they alight.
Feeling the unfelt.
Hearing the unheard.
Singing the song never sung
From whence the would begun.
Thoughts are corrupt
Peace not found
To the past you feel bound
To the cycle
The call of the unknown
Though in all you’ve been shown.
You feel it.
You know it.
You’d steal it
Just to show it.
As dawns the new day
Kneel yourself down and say
The past has no more sway
For my future is my stay.
The past shall visit
The pain not with it.
For it bought me to today
To burst forth out of this gray.