The Sick Heart

Following God doesn’t mean rainbows and white picket fences and big houses.

It hurts to be what you are making me.

I can’t see my future—who will take advantage of me when I’m vulnerable?

I do not know the minds of men—who will see what I am and set boundaries with mockery as the plumb line?

I do not know how to keep hearts fallow—whose jagged ridges will I cleave with my entire body, exhausted in the last cleft before the summit, only to breathe a final time in a place of suffocation?

It hurts to be what you are making me.

I am afraid of the laughing and the rolling eyes, the assumption I am or am not one of them, where them is the phrase all that’s wrong with this place or we are the only right in this place.

I am afraid of long nights, long weeks, longer months, where all I love can disappear in an hour—‘This God undertakes, this God gives.’

I am afraid of following untruths and half-lies—two hundred Holy Spirit initiatives, thirty-thousand brick ‘n’ mortar interpretations of your Church—when all I want is the breast of a Mother, an open door, a southern wind.

Which life is worth saving? Which mother’s child can live? Which of God’s children will live?

It hurts. It hurts so badly what you are making me.

Who can say where the wind comes from or goes? ‘The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit’ (John 3:8, NASB).

Iron sharpens iron, but I am the shavings, the smelted refuse on the floor. The sword sheds blood, brings glory, has been through fire and flesh. I have trembled, cried in your cup, washed your feet with my hair.

What will they say? Where will secrets hide in the Light?

‘And He said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad’ (Luke 24:17, ESV)

And what has happened to our veil? ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’ (Luke 24:32, ESV).

It hurts, what you’ve done to me when you made me love you.

Because to love God is to give all my heart, and there wasn’t much to give—a mite’s worth, maybe two. So when it burns for you, it dies in me.

Aye, Abba.

Do not let me be ashamed (Psalm 25:2, NASB), do not give me over to death (Psalm 118:18, NASB); bind my wounds, heal my mangled heart (Psalm 147:3, ESV).

Send me the friend who is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24, NASB).

Is it you? Is it a person with their own mended heart?

Mental Health Awareness Week started yesterday, October 4, 2020.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. More information can be found on the website, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

For more information regarding the NAMI Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Illness-Awareness-Week

Published by Jessica Calvert

Jessica Calvert is a fiction editor for The Black Fork Review, owner of Charm & Strange Press, wife of a weirdo, and mother of 6 minions. She holds a B.A. in English from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and is currently an MFA in Creative Writing candidate at Ashland University. Jessica has work published in the Aurora and her mom’s refrigerator. Her chapbook of poems and short stories, Into a Dark Alley, was released in 2019.

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