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Crack In the Vase, Shame on My Face

November 1, 2011

I’m processing. I know I’m processing because I’m writing compulsively. Everywhere. On anything. About everything. My heart beats fast in moments where my thoughts don’t match the rhythm. And other times, I feel calm but my head is frantic. I need my brain to get instep with my pulse. Otherwise, it just feels like mayhem. I’ve been trying to avoid mayhem. Actively. Conscientiously. Carefully.

My stepdad fell off the roof recently. I was there. He was cleaning out gutters. I was spraying down walls. I heard a weird crash. Then another. I might have heard a muted grunt, but I’m uncertain if I imagined it in remembrance or really heard it. When I came around the corner I saw him laying on the ground. He’d gone one direction, the ladder he tried to step down onto had gone another. He had blood pouring from his ear, and he didn’t move. Not even when I yelled his name. I thought… it was… I just didn’t want to be the one to confirm what I feared. I ran. I ran to the neighbors. I beat on their door and screamed for someone to call 911.

“Why?” They asked. Which, by the way, if someone is frantically requesting you to call 911, don’t ask why. Just call for Christ’s sake.

He’s ok. He’s great. Almost has full use of his arm again. But he’s timid and scared now. I’m timid and scared now. I don’t want anyone to climb a ladder. I don’t want anyone to fall. I don’t want anyone to hurt. And I don’t want to feel that fear again.

A few weeks ago we got word that a friend’s little sister was missing. “Please pray.”

I didn’t pray. I don’t pray. Not in the traditional sense of prayer. I pray in anger. I pray in laughter. But I don’t usually, “Dear God… ” pray. Other’s did. I’m sure they did because why would someone say, “Yes, I’ll pray” but not follow through? Unless, of course, they said yes with good intentions but lost the promise in the business of the day.

Whatever the case, this sister is no longer missing. She was found in a shallow grave, stabbed multiple times, throat slit by her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend… prayer’s answered, I guess. Because now we know, right? We know. And folks always say it is better to know than to wonder. But, in honesty, I’d rather wonder.

“Maybe she ran away….” or “Maybe she fell off a cliff accidentally” or… “Maybe someone slit her throat and buried her in a cold, unmarked grave because the world is callous, and cruel and filled with too many prayers we forget or just refuse to pray.”

Truth is, I’m angry these days. Really, really angry. Too angry to pray.

And I wish I didn’t feel this way. Because friends are hurting, families are aching, and my anger is getting in the way of offering any comfort, even if only it is prayer.

One Comment
  1. Prayer can help you, too. It can help your anger and help you process. Prayer isn’t the structured “first you say this and then you say that and you always say this and never say that” that many are taught as children. Prayer is open communication with your maker, prayer is establishing a relationship with the One who knows you better than yourself. Prayer is both easy and hard — find a quiet place and open up your heard — but it is worth it. Prayer can heal you, and it can heal them. I really hope you try it. It sounds like you’ve never needed it more than now.

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