Every year when the air turns warm I get the urge to clean my room.
I throw out expired beauty products, gut my clothes drawer, and evacuate acquired household items that don’t belong.
The closet is overflowing with salt-encrusted boots,
the window shades I never erected,
a piece of the desk I unscrewed;
knickknacks from China;
I’m ready for a fresh start. An organized, decluttered living space.
Last Tuesday, God told me, I want your healing. Not only that, but he promised it in two weeks.
Pain has festered all winter. Hurt, loss, and unmet desires have collected on my heart’s window like a fine coat of grime on the shades. When the air turned warm and I turned another year older, I told God I wanted to live again.
In my head, I know he can wipe away the pain as easily as I can wipe the dust from the blinds. Experiencing the supernatural removal of pain is another thing entirely. It’s like knowing there’s an infestation of cockroaches sallying in my walls and calling the exterminator: I know he’s real and really good at his job, but I have to see him in the flesh, in his blue suit with the tools he will use to follow through on what he’s promised. It’s sitting on the couch watching him suck up the vermin ’cause the job’s outside of my expertise, which doesn’t stop me asking how to help.
Hold fast to hope and write it all down.
They’re one in the same to me, hope and its articulation, and I’m cultivating the little green shoots poking through my heart’s soil.
My closet isn’t the only thing that needs a thorough scrubbing. In the shower I slough off the skin of winter with raw sugar. God’s massaging of my heart’s comfort is both abrasive and sweet. He strips back the pleasures I pursued to dull my pain, until the flesh is pink and raw. Then his scarred, skillful hands smooth the salve of his heart into mine so my skin will heal clean and new.
Oh, to be new.
I am healing.
I can feel it happening, within me but outside of me.
No longer do I carry the Great Weight, which is only felt in its absence. Instead of hosting Pain, punctuated by visits from Pleasure, I am walking hand-in-hand with Joy and Freedom, and encountering that persistent friend Sadness on fewer roads.
I am walking hand-in-hand with Spirit and Son, and my Father is always a few steps ahead of me, conducting the chorus of birds and making flowers spring up on either side. He looks up at the clouds and they let the sun pass.
For you, he smiles.
The sun is stronger. The warmth is finding its way into my heart. The branches there are still spindly and bare, but the ice has melted. Tiny buds are peeking hopefully. Spring is coming. My Father is healing me.
Stacked boxes of books. Bare surfaces and blank windows. My bedroom is stripped back to its walls.
I’m tired of the mint-toothpaste color, so I’m going to repaint.
Afterward, I will hang new window shades and draw them to let in the sun.