When Pain Is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom
All you’d have to say was, “Yeah. What she said!”
Blogger–and my new friend–Mekeisha has a way of explaining truth that leaves me staring at her dumbly.
When people stare at me like that, they’re trying to figure out what I’m babbling about.
People stare at Mekeisha because they’re mesmerized.
I want to grow up to be just like her.
I asked Mekeisha if I could rip a post off her blog and share it with you. She said, Sure – go for it!
I chose When Pain is Like a Flower because when she read it to my roommate Bethany and I at a recent speakers conference (Christian Communicators Conference–shameless plug), Bethany and I just stared, stunned.
I wish you could’ve been there. It would’ve been crowded in our hotel room, but you would’ve loved listening to her.
After you read Mekeisha’s post, go onto her blog (the link is at the bottom of this post) and leave her a comment, requesting she start streaming live readings.
Thanks! and Enjoy . . .
When pain is like a flower
(by Mekeisha as appeared on her blog, Mekeishakay)
This afternoon, J (my 8 yo) slipped into my room for a visit. I was settled on my bed checking e-mails and reading articles, when she began twisting wool into a ring, and the words began to flow. I knew it was going to be more than a casual conversation when she opened with
Mom, do you know what really makes me sad?
As she began to share, I was surprised to realize that my fun loving, rambunctious little girl had such deep thoughts brewing below the surface.
I’m happy on the outside, but I’m not happy on the inside. I feel mean on the inside. And angry. And hurt a lot… as she braided and re-braided the string in her hands, she looked away with the saddest face and said It can never change…
Oh, Babe, that makes my heart sad. God doesn’t want you to feel that way!
As I sat across from her, an illustration began to form in my mind:
Imagine your baby sister with a backpack full of rocks, so full she couldn’t even walk- she could only crawl, because it was too heavy to walk with. Then someone added even more rocks until she finally rolled over from the weight. She would be lying on a lumpy backpack full of heavy rocks!! Now wouldn’t that be terrible!? What would you do?
With tears in her eyes, she ardently proclaimed, I would walk over, scoop her up in my arms, kiss her and tell her that she was going to be okay, and then I would put her rocks in MY backpack, and I would walk over to the person who did it, and I would tell them
You may not touch her any more. You can only Touch Me.
I started crying as I put my arms on her shoulders and asked, “Now J, if you would do that for your sister, don’t you think God would do that for you? That’s exactly what Jesus did when He went to the cross! He saw how heavy our backpacks were, and He took our rocks of sin, shame, and pain and He told the Devil: You can only touch me.”
You can only touch me – so they beat Him with a whip.
You can only touch me – and they spit in His face.
You can only touch me – and they placed a crown of thorns on His head.
You can only touch me – and they plucked his beard from his face.
You can only touch me – and He was nailed to a cross.
You can only touch me – and He went to Hell for us.
“Do you believe Jesus did that for you?”
She looked away and whispered… No.
How will I get through to her?
“Now… remember when you said that you could never change the way you feel inside? I have a question: What if R, your sister (who is only four) had a backpack full of rocks and you walked over to help her and she said ‘NO! I like my rocks! I want to keep my rocks! You can’t have my rocks!’
“What if she couldn’t even walk because the rocks were so heavy? What would you do then?”
She thought a moment, smiled wide and replied, “I would tell her, I know something that you like better than rocks, and I would take her rocks and give her a humongous Lollipop!”
“J, God wants to trade with you too! God wants you to give him the heavy stuff in your backpack so He can fill it up with something better… like love, joy, peace, patience- all these things are fruit of His Spirit working in you!
“Well, don’t you want to get rid of those rocks in your backpack?”
Mom, do you know how many rocks are in my backpack?
No, how many?
One. Just one big, really heavy rock.
What makes it so heavy?
Meanness, grumpiness, anger … the opposite of gentleness, hurt, and… tons of pain.
Why so much pain?
Because sometimes I feel lonely, or sad, and then I feel pain. My pain is like a flower that grows up from the rocks, and it doesn’t die even when it gets too much water, or too much sun…
Do you think God can take your pain, that He can make it go away?
Yes, but sometimes it’s like someone sneaks in and plants another one.
Well, if that happens, we know what it looks like, right? It’s like a weed growing in your garden, and we know how to get rid of it! God can take care of that one too!
Let’s imagine there’s a table in front of us and you are unloading your backpack onto the table. You know, whenever we see something in our heart that shouldn’t be there, and we say it out loud, that’s called confessing, or admitting something is wrong. When we do that, God loves to forgive us! And it’s okay if you feel angry sometimes… I do too. The Bible says Be Angry–and sin not. It’s what we do with our big feelings that can get us into trouble!
It’s also okay to ask for help, because sometimes we can’t make ourselves do what we should. That’s why God gave us His Spirit. He said He would send us His Spirit so that we would have the power to do what is right. You’re not supposed to try harder to stop doing bad things, we’re supposed to ask God and let Him help more.
As she began to name the things that were in her heart–the anger, the hurt, the mean feelings towards others–her countenance completely shifted from being sad and heavy to being joyful and light.
When we finally emerged from the bedroom to share a snack with the rest of the family, she smiled and proclaimed, “I emptied my backpack!”
You know, I think explaining what we believe in simple words – for little ears – helps us to understand things better. I love the way she grappled with words to share what was on her heart.
I think I understand, though. Sometimes pain does seem to thrive, even when I try to kill it with forgiveness, or when I hope it will scorch under the heat of neglect, pretending I’m fine when I’m really Not… but I think God wants us to be honest enough to admit I hurt… and I need to be healed.
I forgave… but I still feel raw.
I want to do what is right, but I’m sad at the times I’ve failed…
Maybe confession is like opening a door to God. If so, we swung it wide open today.
Meet My Friend Mekeisha
Hailing from the frozen North of Alaska,
I am a wife, mother of four, poet, musician, artist and Grandmother wanna-be.
I read voraciously and love to teach others
about how amazing God is.
He’s a genius, you know.
Love God. Love people.
That’s as simple and complicated as it gets,
I write a blog, Mekeishakay, that is my attempt to
share the beauty of our broken places, and the things I am learning in this journey.