The Long Suffocation

Photo Credit: Victor Bezrukov

In the car one morning last week, I had this image:

Running to the Father, I am swept into his arms. I cry until I shake, clamping to his neck as a terrified child. He cradles me with one arm, and with the other outstretched, wards off attack. 

I wept over the steering wheel as the image punctured my heart. At first I didn’t know who was the attacker. Satan? The world? People I love? Sometimes my greatest foe is my own heart.

My sliest enemy is the long suffocation of unearthing my deep places.

It is the long suffocation of encrusted fears resurrecting in my lungs; of smothering insecurities lining my throat like flypaper; of asphyxiating accusations swallowing my reason.

It is the long suffocation of hoping to excavate fully-fledged artifacts but digging up bone fragments like shrapnel.

It is the long suffocation of trying to stay on top of my heart, commandeer my moment-by-moment reactions to life like they are a boat and my heart is the compass that points home, only the tectonic plates are shifting in the deep places and the magnetism has lost its north bearing.

You are still trying, he points out as I hunch over a makeshift fire on the muddy river bank. Do you not trust me?

Still trying. Still trying to trust, certainly. For some time I have believed that knowing my deepest places is to my advantage, that subduing them…will lead…to wholeness….

But I am choking for breath beneath the weight of mastering this heart. I am riddled with fear of what I will discover down there.

Where is the wholeness? The fruit? Where is the life?

It is not in the subduing of the deep places–perhaps not even in knowing them. There is only the long suffocation, and the image of him protecting me from myself, and the rubbed-raw trusting that he is enough for my deep places.

And then,

that searing resurrection gasp.


2 thoughts on “The Long Suffocation

  1. Pingback: Square One | Grace Upon Grace

  2. Pingback: The Safety of Lightning Strikes | Grace Upon Grace

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