I wrote this post after a couple hard days during my time in Honduras, talking with girl after girl after girl who has been battered and bruised by an unforgiving world. Today I am realizing that I will always collect these “postcards.”
… the stories are piling up like postcards from similar destinations: despair, loneliness, anger, betrayal, pain, and sometimes hope. Those are the ones I like best – the hope ones. The others are ones that make my heart hurt. Those destinations are hard to explain, but they seem to keep arriving at my doorstep.
Last night a few more postcards arrived at my doorstep, all busted up and barely legible from the journey. The stories seemed tucked under the furrow of the girls’ brow or their dimpled giggles, but soon it all came out. These girls, too young to experience what their stories exposed, too beautiful to be found in such a mess.
We talked and questioned and fumed a bit. I strained to make my face say what my heart felt – pain. I didn’t want to say, “It’s okay,” because too many people say that.
What I did say, at the end of both conversations was this, “I don’t know what kind of messes you’ve got… I don’t want to pretend I know you at all. What I do know is that there is abundance that can overwhelm the pain. There is a way to make sad eyes smile.”
It was probably too much, but I said it anyway. I can only keep receiving these postcards if I drop off mail of much lighter weight. I wanted what they received from me to be Christ – a FULL, abundant, joyful image of freedom and grace.
This song by Zerbin is the motion of this desire. We are not stuck in this ground, this skin. We are bound for a land free from messes and weights and sin. The headlights of this glory-bound train will one day meet a sunrise that will make earth mornings seem quaint.
This is the message I want to leave when I gather the stories from all these girls. This is the only JOY that can walk through pain and survive.