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!
23 thoughts on “A Slippery Slope.”
Beautifully written, Ronne! Thank you for the encouragement to reach out. We are charged to be the hands and feet.
What a precious charge that is, Joy.
Ronne, of all the encouraging, passionate, thought-provoking, grace-giving, love-laced, wisdom-filled writings of yours that I’ve read, this just might be the….best? Most compelling? I’m struggling to come up with an appropriate adjective. Superlative. Modifier. Very, very, VERY good just doesn’t touch it. You bless with your words, with your testimony….with your life. Though our circumstances might all be as unique as we are, we’ve all needed to be rescued. We’ve all felt the frustration of inadequacy of our own means and resources as we’ve wanted so desperately to rescue others, crying out at our own weaknesses in a sense of total futility. We’ve all wanted to sit on the curb, build high those barriers and “tend to our own business”. To be reminded that when we are weak, He is strong, that when we are hopeless, He is Hope, when we are helpless, He is our Help ……..and that to TRULY be His hands and feet (as we are most certainly called to be) we must be totally dependent, available and obedient. We’ve talked about this before, but the freedom that comes from that total dependency and the joy that comes from seeing His work accomplished and Love poured out through this broken vessel is a blessing beyond compare. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for starting this day in the best possible fashion.
Gosh, Rick. Your words. Yes.
Holy wow. This is beautiful Ronne!
Oh. Oh. My. Your words will be following me around all day. Thank you for this.
Thank you, sweet Jenna.
“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.”
Thank you so much for being this person Ronne. I am continually blessed by you, your words, your actions.
Rick, you’ve allowed me to be real and flawed. And I am thankful for you, friend.
Uhhhh no matter the words I write will just look insignificant compared to the beauty above. You’ve written many things that have touched me.. this one goes beyond. Wish I could steal it and call it mine..instead I shall just “share” it with whoever will listen. #truth
If the words resonate, they are yours too… 🙂
*takes a sip of afternoon coffee, gazes at a point unseen, thinking*
I had starred that one in the playlist, before making my way over here to your words. Starred because it reached out and pulled me into the lyrics and words and ceased to be background music. I love how songs do that.
We’re surrounded by those well-meaning people, aren’t we? They just can’t see it, the beauty in the rescue.
Messy, yes, but the messy makes it real. Maybe it’s the real. The real in the broken and the shattered that keeps the well-meaning at the surface.
The not fixing…that’s the hard part for us fixer-types. But you’re right. We need to slip and slide and walk shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand without fixing. I watched Blackhawk Down again the other night and I love what the one guy says about why he comes back. People don’t get it, he says, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the guy next to you in the trenches.
May we all be the guy next to the broken and shattered in the trenches.
Wow. Yes, the REAL. Thank you, sweet friend.
A Matriarch. Taking a risk to REACH. YOU are the voice of encouragment that we need to hear, spurring us on to the extending purposes that bring a touch. Becoming the conductor for all things healing, to come rushing in. Thank you. XOXOXO. I cannot wait to watch where this rising moves you. I, for one, will be watching, listening, and learning.
Catching my breath. Thank you for the words…
I am so grateful for you in the world and in the Body and in this life I get to lead.
Oh, how I adore you.
Ronne, I nearly have no words to say… I’m just awestruck by a great big God-size heart in you!
The words you speak here could be own: “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.”
Since the 90’s I’ve embraced the call to be with and to listen to the stories of the most broken ones… and I cannot go back. I so much understand and embrace and rejoice in your words here! Thank you!
I’m glad we’re kin, Susan. We can learn together – because I am still such a clumsy student.
If we don’t reach out to the broken, who will? Beautiful post.
“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.”
This is not true. You can and you do. A moment can make all the difference in the world. Please don’t stop.