Thursday, February 16, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

A collection of photos culled from albums and boxes rests in a left-over tin of thank you notes, cards celebrating Gratitude and Abundance.
As I touch the photos this morning, swells of emotion accost me like waves from a turbulent sea, threatening to fill my lungs with deadly water, steal the breath from my trembling lips.

And I am walking the Wounded Heart journey again WHY?

In the vast ocean of panic my humanity seeks an anchor, solid ground, hell I'd settle for the sifting sand of a dry beach.

Sifting sand. An interesting turn of phrase.

I realize one of the anchors I am putting down is reliance on the processing dates gracing photo margins at a time when 12 pictures - a roll of film - might contain a whole year. APR 63 is the date on this photo of me in a coat and hat made by my mother. Spring, not Christmas? Digging out a magnifying glass, I take a closer look.

What I'd always thought was fuzzy white little-girl-fake-fur trim turns out to be lace, the bodice appliqué is daisy-like flowers, not snowflakes.

I put down my magnifying glass as this Little Red Riding Hood image begins sifting time, propels me forward to my senior year of high school. A mentor and trusted teacher, a close friend of my father's, takes me aside after class, tells me a joke, a Little Red Riding Hood joke... ending with a gruffly-feminine voice representing an indignant Little Red Riding Hood:

"You're going to eat me like the book says!"

The overtly sexual reference seers me like a branding iron. Shame rushes in.
I stand in the silence of my teacher's laughter, paralyzed within his leer. I want to vomit. I want to run. I want to scream.

I go home, never tell anyone, until now, until this journey through the pages of Wounded Heart.

In the storm of my panic, when I am screaming and thrashing in fear, God is neither silent nor disengaged.

God is vast and calm like a quiet tropical beach at sunset. God is waiting to embrace me when I choose to quit thrashing around and trying to save myself, when I open my heart to accept His help, His healing grace.

One day he and his disciples got in a boat. "Let's cross the lake," he said. 
And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm 
came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about 
to capsize. They woke Jesus: "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

Getting to his feet, he told the wind, "Silence!" and the waves, 
"Quiet down!" They did it. The lake became smooth as glass.

Then he said to his disciples, "Why can't you trust me?"

They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, 
"Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds 
and sea, and they do what he tells them!"

—Luke 8:22-25 NIV

I often struggle with embracing the biblical images of God as Father.

Focusing on Jesus brings me through the pain.


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