I am thinking about vulnerability, about how truly frail each and everyyone of us is. Our bodies are an intricate miracle, yet prone to breaking and hurting and often in need of healing. Our hearts minds and souls likewise, and all too often we neglect all of them failing to see our own needs, or even to truly discern them at times.
Yesterday brought me face to face with brokenness, one of our lovely clients, and I say lovely because when she is sober and “clean” ( off drugs) she is an absolute delight, a big character who shares he joy with others, this Christmas everyone recieved a card!
Yesterday however was a different matter, I don’t know her full story but I do know that it is filled with pain and neglect, sometimes by other and sometimes by herself, addictions to drugs and alcohol easily take over as they temporarily at least lift her out of her pain into a place of numbing oblivion.
It was that act yesterday that caused us to need to call for the Police and an Ambulance, it was that act that will cause her to be barred from the project for a few weeks. She will be banned from entering while others are there because this numbing pattern has become a habit while joining with us; but we cannot and will not exclude her from our lives.
In many ways she held a mirror to my heart, for like her there are times when I want to thell the world to p*** off, and times when I don’t want to recieve a gentle challenge even in encouragement. There are times when I cannot lift my eyes above my own percieved bleakness of my reality. The only difference? Well to be honest there isn’t one except that I have been fortunate enough to find myself held firmly in the loving embrace of God and of the Christian Community who have walked with me through my deeepest darkest times.
It was because of this acceptance and grace that I found myself sitting on the wall of the church bearing the mark of an ash cross on my forehead and a clerical collar around my throat and not sprawled on the floor under the influence of drugs.
I am frail, we are all frail, I don’t believe that her actions were selfish, just desperate, and yes desperatly wrong for herself and the community at large, but I do not know what wounds have led her to be where she is, I can only resolve to hold her in love and to try not to let go. I believe like Mother Julian did that Christ will meet her in the depths of those wounds when she is willing to face them, and will help her begin to heal. This won’t be acheived by me rejecting her or pushing her aside, for the truth is she is worthy of God’s love simply because she is and always has been his just as I am.
I am vulnerable and frail and loved completely, we all are, but it sometimes takes much time for us to see it….