Love and stones and schemes and forgiveness (part 2)

by Craig on January 3, 2011

If you missed it, Part one is here. It really must be read first.

And well after the last stone was dropped,

there she was.

Hidden in the only safe place

within, locked away, far away

no light, no sound

I am not here, I am not here, go away

I will not move, I will not leave,

I’m fine. I’m fine

just go away

everyone

you in the white, please leave

it’s over

I am not here

go away

I’ll sear you

I’ll turn you to stone

Leave me be

I am not here

go away, go away,

Sorrow upon sorrow

yet not one tear would drop

resolute,

unbending,

go away,

I heard you, I have no stone, but I am sin,

I. AM. SIN.

go … away

I made this, I am this

please leave

I don’t want your touch, I don’t want your pity, do not extend that hand

I know what comes next

go

away

let me be nothing

this dirt,

these rocks,

this is me

walk on me, remove me, but don’t love me

not me

go away

I can still hear you. I hear you breath.

If you touch me I’ll hurt you. There were many I couldn’t. But I swear.

Do. Not. Touch Me.

And I think nobody would. And I think if they tried, Our Lord would have stopped them. There is a time when we are beyond touch. Our Lord knew this. Even as human, even without all-knowing, he would know this woman.  The silence that quelled the rage, the silence would be needed now.

Just the wind now.

Just the wind.

Approach the bird too quickly and it flies – the rabbit bolts. This moment would be stilled like waves on a sea. Maybe a silent miracle this time. A faint heartbeat to grow stronger before he would draw near.

And then…

only then…

would come quiet words, meant for one set of ears.

“Woman…”

This was different. She did not know this voice but she wanted to. Her eyes would open. No longer invisible. A biting of the lips, a trembling hand. And new thoughts…and maybe now

a tear

Don’t go way.

Please Don’t go way.

To this woman,

this invisible child,

came these words,

“Where did they all disappear to?”

They were invisible.  They were sin. And they were gone.

Then…

“Has no one condemned you?”

She would look left, right, and now want to answer this voice which unlocked her. She would know that where he lives, condemnation dies – and with his absolution who was left to condemn her?

“No one sir,’ she answered.

Not even herself.

And Our Lord said, `Nor do I condemn you.”

And things were different.

And to this one who could not move he said, “You may go.”

And she would would feel free, and this would be new, and she would rise.

And one last thing. Because after after forgiveness, comes repentance, comes a turning, comes a heart that wants more light, to make our way through darkness…

“But from now on avoid this sin.”

Maybe a nod of the head by this one. Maybe a nod of his head too. A new creation, able to see, able to be seen, no longer dirt, no longer hostile, or anxious, or guilty, or embarassed, or powerelss, or numb.

We always assume some contact here. But maybe not.

A nod by him. A nod by her.

His heart to her heart – maybe that was the only contact needed.

A sparrow set free, and with new wings to stretch.

To read more into this.

To say anything else? Not today. Enough has been said.

In God’s Love.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 3, 2011 at 2:39 am

As I said, Beautiful Art.

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Craig January 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thank you Michelle. But really this sprang out of what God has been doing in me. I’m beginning to see pain, and feel it. Without him doing what he has I could never have begin to feel what this woman may have felt – or convey it with words. He gets all the credit on this – really. All of it. God Bless and keep you – thank you.

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Susan January 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Worth the wait, Craig. Praying for your rest&health…-s-

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Craig January 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thank you Susan. I really don’t know how I wrote it. But I felt “there” – and I felt what she was thinking – and how Our Lord would have known. I LOVE that he gave me this.

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Susan January 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Craig,dear one–it’s like we discussed last week–your heart is truly open now, not just playing the piece, but *feeling* the music. Like listening to Wynton Marsalis play trumpet. Is that a fair analogy? When I used to write poetry (before all the busyness of the last 10-15yrs) I would literally *feel* the right words&rhythm. And I’d close the laptop or notebook& praise Him with thanks. But I had to be still and let Him come, so I could feel what He wanted to hear from me. You are there now. Love it! -s-

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Craig January 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I was a brass player Susan – it is a good analogy. It is best – when it’s him – more of him – less of me. Thank you.

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Melissa January 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Beautiful, Craig. Penned with the heart. So many need to read and feel what you did–God’s love for us. I am praying for more pilgrims to this place of holy. Blessings to you.

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Craig January 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Thank you Melissa. I know what I want. Still, I know, the only peace, the only real success is to want God’s will, pray for it, dot the i’s cross the t’s and let him decide. In the end, I have to believe, if I do the work – and I AM working as hard as a person can – harder – way harder than this body allows (#8 in the 100 things about me) – I have to believe that if I do that the exact right amount of people will read – because I have prayed for, and do want, what God wants, above what I want. Even though there is still some of me that wants what I want too.

Will it end up being what I want? It will – IF I want the will of God.

It has to be about him. I have to have this all be about him. Thank you for your really kind words, today, and past, you are a true blessing. I pray the same for you because what you write touches the soul.

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Joyce L Gibson January 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I’ve been there.
Silent before Him.
Awed by His purity,
Forgiven by His blood.
Tiptoeing away to savor the cleansing and restoration to His favor.

Thank you for capturing the unspoken transaction of unexpected love offered and received.

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Craig January 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Once again, if what I wrote is good in your eyes, then what I wrote is good. Thank you GJ. God Bless.

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Debbie January 4, 2011 at 12:32 am

This was so real. You had me there, at that point of time. You had me as that woman, which in my sin, I have been. May the magic of hearing His voice never fade from us, of hearing that we are forgiven and not condemned, of being able to go on with Him, because of Him. Thank you for painting this so beautifully with words . . .words that He gave you. :)

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Craig January 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

He’s been generous with those words lately – and the feelings that go with them. It’s a LOT of feeling. Sometimes a little too much. But I let him do his thing. It’s a gift. I’ll take it. I need my heart to be more like his. Thank you Deb. When I wrote this, I was there. I’m so glad you got to go there too.

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Rae January 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

““No one sir,’ she answered.

Not even herself.”
I think you have uncovered something both beautiful and ignored. Thank you.

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Craig January 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I am so happy you read this. OK no joking and pointing now – but this story, her story, I feel it. I really do. I have tears in my eyes right now because I feel it so much. This woman, this pawn, and her heart – I hear the beats.

I was kind of afraid this might be too much. That people would ignore it or hate it.

Thank you Rae.

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Anonymuss January 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm

The way you have expressed this is so powerful, Craig. It brings tears. It reminds me of the way a partly grown kitten behaves when it has been abused or mistreated and is being subjected to the hands of a stranger. It is vulnerable and caught even as it tries to squirm to get away, and then it reaches a point of limpness-of giving up to whatever terrors might await it at the hand of the one clutching it. The parallel is not completely true because the kitten may not be guilty of anything, but the body language is similar.

“A sparrow set free with new wings to stretch”…what a beautiful way to express pardon and grace!!!!! I need God to show me where I may be unwittingly hindering sparrows, too. At times, I am the sparrow. Both. Oh, this touches my heart so much! To my knees…

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Craig January 5, 2011 at 1:50 am

Thank you A, I think this is one of the most favorite things I’ve ever written. As I said above, I was really a little worried it might be too much. I’m glad you thought it wasn’t.

And that kitten analogy – beautiful – as someone once told me, you have a way with words – and what’s in their backpacks.

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Kim January 5, 2011 at 1:00 am

Not even herself.

Set free.

Only because of Him.

Thank you, Craig.

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Craig January 5, 2011 at 1:55 am

Before God showed me this woman, really showed her to me, I never saw this side, this crushed, trapped, sharp edged, and brave side. And because of what had been done to her, and what she had done, repeatedly, she didn’t love or forgive herself.

Thank you Kim

God Bless you.

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Kris August 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

beautiful, Craig. Burning, haunting truth…. beautiful. Thank you for this.. I need to re-read it and let it all sink deep in….

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Craig August 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Kris, this is one of the my most favorite of writings. I wish I could see into a soul like this more often. It’s special to me. so thank you for your words – a big, wholehearted, full, thank you. God bless and keep you Kris.

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Beth Werner Lee August 24, 2011 at 10:44 am

Beautiful!
I read both parts today.
I just can’t get over Jesus, writing in the sand with his finger.
Speaking words of non-condemnation, he the only one who isn’t condemned by the law of God.
By the way, what I believe he did was write the 10 commandments and for two reasons:
I was studying the NT with OT eyes, and the only other time someone writes with their finger is God giving the 10 commandments to Moses, and writing on rock. Now Jesus writes with his finger in the sand (crushed rock) to remind them of all the 10 (not their sin particularly but God’s standard). So I, when tempted to judge another, must look to my own state, grab forgiveness, and leave the correcting to Jesus who then might give me the right word in love.
Secondly, I believe he wrote with his finger on the sand to give a picture for them and all other Jews (God believers who aren’t convinced about Jesus) that he is indeed God.
But I’m still puzzled by “then” neither do I condemn you. Relative righteousness? or just time signifier?
Thank you for bringing me the story from the woman’s point of view. I’d been too long on the Pharisees’ point of view, strange as that may seem.

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Craig August 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

thank you Beth, and since we don’t know what he wrote – I kind of heart your idea of what he might have ツ. and we always need to read the New Testament with the Old Testament eyes way? The “then”? Our Lord was a man – she was surrounded by men who were accusing and grabbing rocks – my guess is her history with men was one of lies, deceit, abuse. To her he may just have been another one. The fact that he was religious? Well, I’m sure she met plenty of men who cloaked themselves in religion. so maybe she was expecting judgment from him – even though he had caused the others to go away. Maybe she was expecting something worse than judgment. I think the “then” was to reassure her that he was different – and as all went away without harming her, he would too. Just my guess – and I heart that you dug into the story enough to even come up with a question. I never had ツand there is only one reason, by the way, that I could write this, and understand just a little of the woman in the story – being a man and all – and that’s reading the amazing women bloggers in this community – they have changed everything for me. Women write theology like men can’t – and they’ve rubbed off on me. And now I’ll get to be reading you too – and I heart that! God bless and keep you Beth.

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Duane Scott August 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Craig,

It is so refreshing to find another man who writes so poetic. Not that I write so poetic or anything, I just resonate with those who do.

I loved this and I’m glad I clicked over from Ann Voskamp’s place today.

Definitely subscribing. :)

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Craig August 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Duane, I can only write with any sort of poetry because of people like Ann – that’s why I write in this community – that’s why I read only this community of amazing Christian women “mommy bloggers” – I learned in a way that I never had access to before. But I don’t always write with this much poetry – this is one of the best things I think I may ever have written. To peer into a soul – and understand – especially a woman, when we men know so little of women. It’s a fave of mine. Thank you Duane, thank you, and God bless and keep you.

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Rachel August 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

This is art. This is touchable.

This is painful beauty. Raw.

Oh, how my heart flows with tears.

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Craig August 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Rachel, thank you – on occasion you really get to peek into the soul of a person – and what they may have been thinking – and feeling. I heart this story – and I think I got a chance to prayerfully peer into her heart. I truly appreciate your awfully kind words. Thank you very much, and God bless and keep you.

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kd sullivan August 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

After all, we are all invisible children, are we not?

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Craig August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Amen KD, 20, 30, 50, 80 – no matter how grown-up – no matter how old – we are all as you so well put it “invisible children” – I really couldn’t say it any better myself – really. Thank you KD and God bless and keep you.

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Christina August 25, 2011 at 6:18 am

“Where he lives, condemnation dies.” I heart this. Need to write it down and reread it when guilt comes for a visit. Beautiful. Thank you.

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Craig August 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

thank you Christina, and I never wouldn’t have been able to write something like this if I weren’t blogging in this community – reading people like you – reading women – reading moms. I could never write with heart like this unless I had read heart like this. this is one of my most favorite things I’ve ever written – I heart this! God bless you Christina – and thank you.

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Lisa notes... August 25, 2011 at 7:35 am

“His heart to her heart – maybe that was the only contact needed.”

Ah, yes. May I be satisfied with that too. Thanks, Craig. Your insights always bless me.

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Craig August 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

thank you Lisa – I think we all imagine that he reached out and touched her – and maybe he did – by not touching her. Our Lord knows stuff – and he knew stuff when he was walking this earth. God bless and keep you Lisa.

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happygirl August 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm

This was hauntingly beautiful. I’m so glad I am I serve a Lord that knit me in my mother’s womb and knows me intimately. I can trust Him.

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Craig August 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm

thank you, this story from the woman’s perspective – it’s one of my most favorite writings – much less posts. So thank you, really, thank you – we can trust Him. God bless and keep you

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imperfect prose August 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

craig, this is powerful. i love how you wove in the wind, the rabbit, the bird, and how you juxtaposed Jesus’ voice with hers.

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Craig August 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Emily, from someone who weaves words like you do – to get a kind comment like this – it’s like Amber Haines, or Ann Voskamp saying well done – means the world to me – thank you very much – God bless you – and your new little bundle of love – and all of yours.

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alittlebitograce August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

Wow…for both those posts. You’ve illuminated the Scriptural story so well. Beautiful re-telling.

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Craig August 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

thank you, the story is a beautiful one – and I’ve never heard it from the woman’s viewpoint before – and it’s only because of reading in this community, and blogging in this community that I could have written something like this at all. Thank you again, and God bless you.

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Nacole@sixinthesticks August 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

Craig,
this was beautiful and heartbreaking. i was able to really let myself sink into the story. and i love this: “Not even herself”. wow–this is freeing in a way i can’t describe. “his heart to her heart”–we need to look at our Savior in this light more often. i know i do–i try but then i feel im not deserving of such passionate love, and i turn away.

but he knows our flaws, and His love is so real, so true, and so persevering, never wavering. we can always count on Him. i loved this, Craig. i could go on about every little bit of the story i liked–i loved it all. thanks for pouring out for us.

i left a comment for you, here, in response to your’s, and explaining what i got out of the whole process–so thank you for encourging me to write about forgiveness. thank you so much.

blessings, friend.

http://sixinthehickorysticks.blogspot.com/2011/08/forgiveness-at-bloody-tree.html#comments

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Sadee September 2, 2011 at 7:26 am

This is beautiful, and so powerful. I blogged this week about a friend of mine who ministers to women in the human trafficking industry–the story you wrote here paints an amazing picture of the healing and transformation I am praying for the women my friend interacts with. I need to send her the link to your post!

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Sadee, I’ve written a lot of stuff – but of all the things I’ve written – I think this is one, if not THE one favorite. I’m a man. I don’t know by experience with this woman felt – or the women in human trafficking feel. But at the beginning of this year I named it “connect”. I found that my heart has connected to much more than I thought it would. I have access to feelings that I never had before, other people’s feelings. I heart this piece. I think I understood this woman in a way that I never had – and in a way that very few men will ever get a chance to. I really, really, heart this story – and the heart of this woman – and the heart of the Savior who knew exactly how to deal with the cracked crystal that was her heart. So thank you – THINK YOU – for saying you liked it too. God bless and keep you Sadee.

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

PS – your bluebird in the gilded cage – that bluebird IS this woman in the story. ((( tears))) God bless and keep you!

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