Strange hands taking my wrist again
Somehow I’m still alone
Voices shaking my steps again
And I follow
I heard it again just this week. Some well-meaning person shook their head at me and said, “You need to mark the ground around you like a hedge, and keep the really broken ones at arm’s length. You can hug the hurting. You can play nice with the wounded. But the really broken? The shattered? You’ve got to protect yourself. You can’t take care of them, you know. You’re not qualified. You don’t have time. It’s too messy.”
I cling to the rock
And it’s crumbling off
Toss me a heavy rope
It’s a slippery slope
Come bail me out of this God-forsaken precipice
Yes. I know. As much as I’d love to fix people like I fix a typo in a sentence, it’s impossible. I can’t unbreak anything. I can’t make things bright and shiny new.
I’m a little bit on the edge,
Holed up, hand out of reach.
I can’t hear much of what you said.
Come for me.
I understand boundaries. And I have them. But I can’t build the wall or measure the distance or keep my hands clean. I can’t fix anything, but I can’t ignore. With all my flaws and bumps and bruises, I can give a listening ear, a heartfelt prayer, a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold, a well-place curse word, a warrior cry, a glass of wine, a cup of tea, a slice of cake, a moment of quiet.
I remember being there.
I remember being the one who wished someone would simply listen – as a small child, a teenager, an adult. I remember being the one who prayed someone would come, as I did my best to hide the scars of pain and shame. I didn’t care about answers to the “why” of the pain. I didn’t need someone to be brilliant. I just hungered for someone to honestly give a damn.
And for the longest time, I wondered why no one I knew looked past the surface, and reached out to the most broken me, the me that felt wholly trapped – why God Himself had to rescue me from abuse, and whisper words of healing to me, and listen to my cries for help.
And then I think, “maybe if He had tarried, no one would have shown up at all.”
The older I get, the more I understand and cherish the beauty in rescue. Maybe the very reason I had no one to walk the road with me is the very reason I now can’t build the wall or measure the distance or keep my hands clean. Perhaps God needed to be my sole rescuer to teach me what rescue really means – and to teach me that, in walking the messy road with the really broken, I ultimately point to the One who rescues wholly and completely.
Oh I’m not a lost cause,
I’m just stuck in this spot,
And I’m close to falling off,
So toss me a heavy rope.
It’s a slippery slope.
No matter what the reason, I am thankful. And so I’ll slide down the slope time and time again if it means grabbing the wrist of one who is falling off the edge.
So to you, the rescued, I encourage you to be unafraid to walk the messy roads. Hold the hand and listen, sit in silence and hold the tears, drink and laugh and don’t fix a thing. Just be love. Just be you.
And to you, the really broken, I promise upon promise that rescue is real, that there is life beyond pain. And I promise there is someone – and Someone – who is willing. So don’t give up. Please.
“Perfect love casts out fear. Pushes it away. Destroys it. Sees the dance of liberty that awaits the person shackled in struggle.” ~RR
Heavy Rope by LIGHTS
I’m thankful for organizations like People of the Second Chance – rescued people who rush to grace. So much good on their website. Do you know of other groups like them? I’d love to know, so please share!