it’s (not) fine

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photo by lars sundstrom

“it’s fine”
no it’s not

“it’s no big deal”
yes, yes it is.

in an effort
to make another person
feel okay,
you have denied the truth.

repeatedly telling yourself
“it will all be fine”
when you know down deep
something is seriously wrong,
is not fixing the problem,
it’s not even bandaging it.
it is simply knowing your arm has just been cut off
and looking the other way,
letting the very lifeblood
drain out of your body
because you don’t want
to inconvenience someone.

or rather,
you don’t want someone else to know
you’re hurting.

that’s it, isn’t it?
what is a core-shattering action against you
is explained away
as a slight to be ignored
rather than a serious issue
to be addressed.
why, oh why,
would you ever want to let that person know
they wounded you
so deeply.

vulnerability
means admitting such things.

vulnerability
in the kingdom of God
means showing yourself,
not as some super-human saint,
but as a real human being
with real feelings
and real hurts.
with flaws,
and struggles
and heartache.

in trying to protect ourselves
we actually hurt others.
in an attempt
to supposedly protect another
from the burden of your pain,
you have instead
condemned them
to the burden of their own pain.

we all long
to be known,
to be understood.
but how can we be understood
when one of the imposed criteria
of being a Christian
is pretending that things are fine?
things are not fine.

“peace, peace when there is no peace!”

when i am vulnerable
and share my pain with another,
they now know
they can share their pain with me too.
where before
they thought they had to carry it
alone.

when i stay vulnerable
and approach
the one who hurt me,
telling them the impact of their actions,
i open the door
for them to change,
or for them to know the next time they do that,
you and they will both know
they do it without regard
for the feelings of others.

so often we hold our hurt inside,
assuming the other knows
what they have done.
maybe they do,
but you can’t know that
unless you are first vulnerable to them.
then,
should they decide to not change,
you will know for certain
and can make decisions based on certainty
rather than wallowing
in the tractionless mire
of assumptions.

you can function in truth
rather than in hiding.
such a freeing place
to be.

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