I don’t deserve these words
by You Have My Word
She had no idea.
She had no idea that her simple words would heal ten year’s worth of waking up to “not good enough” smeared bright red across the grey matter in my already clouded head. She had absolutely no idea. With shaking hands clasped around cold microphone-metal, she affirmed my character, my ability, and my position as a child of God. (She even punted my blog a little.)
For more years than I’ve managed to block out, the brush strokes of “didn’t work hard enough” and “not pretty enough” and “should have tried harder” and “if only they knew” have swathed so smoothly over perspective and logic and grace. Sarah Kay said in a poem, “Rain will wash away everything if you let it,” and I’m hoping that my tears will do the same as I write this. Maybe they’ll clean shocking red from grey, leaving space for the faint sketchings of “well done, good and faithful” to be etched over and over like names routed into plaques and tombstones. Permanent, rain or shine.
She stood from the table and walked intently to the front of a 100+ crowd. We were all gathered in a tent for dinner. Turning to face expectant eyes, she opened with, “I don’t really know what I’m going to say…” I stood not ten feet away, engaged in some frivilous banter completely unaware and unprepared for what was about to happen. “OK, so I just want to say…” Her impromptu (or secretly planned) speech suddenly had my attention: name-dropping does that. The name dropped was mine, and I wasn’t sure that amidst the healing words she spat, that I would ever be able to pick it – my name – up again.
“I’m going to try not to cry…” She made it through just fine, and I wiped my eyes because a leaking face didn’t constitute keeping my cool. A string of adoring words rolled glibly off her tongue; the phrases were just there, like she didn’t even have to look for them. Whenever I’m asked to speak of things that I consider to be my strengths, I have to think long and hard. Yet there she stood thanking me, honouring me. Effortlessly.
Perhaps it took all the courage she could muster to initially get up off her seat, but her speech was dusted with, what I can only deem as, Holy Spirit freedom and restoration and life.
Do not for one second let me fool you into thinking that I deserved anything she said. In fact, of everyone gathered there, I deserved them the least. But right there, God was stitching and patching tattered truths of “not good enough”, and she had no idea.