Tag Archives: sickness

Creating Encounter in Colour: Blue Butterfly

Butterfly

Pain and exhaustion are consuming me today, and my head feels as though it is drowning in a blue mist, killing me softly.  I see a small blue butterfly, flitting in joyous abandon through the chalk meadow, as though a fragment of the summer sky had broken free and was dancing between the waters. I too, should like to be clothed in heaven and mantled in such azure delight.

Perhaps then, I might in turn see my fractured self break away on wings of lapis, the weight of suffering gradually becoming less and less, a blue ballast taking flight and allowing all to fall apart, as it finally should: my ashes softly scattering themselves amongst the bluebonnets and carrying me home.

Text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt  Composite art by R R Wyatt  © used with permission.

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Veil of Tears 101: Worthless

 

101 worthless pixabay dollar-979619_1920

Stop trusting in mere humans,

who have but a breath in their nostrils.

Why hold them in esteem?” Isaiah 2:22 NIV

 

Having spent a great deal of the last twenty years unable to do very much at all besides ceiling gazing and cross stitch, I have had a lot of time to perfect feeling worthless. I looked at myself with the world’s eyes and saw only a sick body and a tired mind, a broken heart and nothing much to look at, a person who was too ill to interact with anyone, take very much in or give very much out.

But deciding to stick life out and to continue loving God and my family started to change that perception. It happened slowly, over a long period of time. I found that the deeper I went into prayer, the longer I spent with my Lord, who professed time and time again to love me, the more I could look at my sorry self with kinder, even transformed, eyes. I could learn to look at myself through holy vision. Here was not a useless, social pariah, but a seed, broken on the ground. She only needed some tender care, to be watered and fed, to feel the sunshine of the saviour’s heart-love and grace, to begin to become renewed.

I am not a great deal better physically than when I was at my worst. In some ways, my condition has deteriorated. I can still be defined as a disabled person, as an invalid, in-valid, and no doubt by some people as a waste of space, as a nonentity, a drain on the system. But my head and most importantly my heart are clearer, and the Lord has been bringing me out into new kinds of life. He has spent precious time with me, him deep in my soul and me safe in his heart. It has been life-giving, soul-nurturing, full of unearthly wonders. It has been painful and many parts of me have been rent or refined, given up, lost or changed. I am different, and yet no more or less precious than I was at any other time.

And it is not that I now consider myself worthy of God’s love, or that I look at my former self (a new former self is born and passes every minute of the day) and find her wanting. It is that I know that God looks at the heart and yes he sees the potential, but he also sees the right now, and he loves what is, what was, and what will be all at the same time. He has no more love for one stage over another, in the same way that a parent loves their child for as long as they are theirs to love, whether baby, child or adult, including into eternity. He loves each one of us and esteems each one of us because we are his. He loves us before we grow, he loves us even if we choose not to grow.

Love does not measure or count. It is not tapping its feet with impatience. Love waits, yes. Love endures, yes, but it does not change its nature or its fervency based on any kind of criteria. Love just loves. And once we realise that, it paradoxically makes us eager to become worthy of it, which is the one thing we cannot do! All we can do is seek to love love in return, to co-operate fully with It, to answer both its gentle and its difficult questions with a trusting yes. And then we know that we were loved all the time, and that worth is a foolish, earthly idea that we cannot take into the next realm or the deeper places of our spiritual lives, because worth is a comparative concept. It lays itself against another, or against itself and wants to see which one is better.

Am I good enough yet? It cries. Am I now loveable? What do I need to do? And the answer comes back, you will never be, you always were, and nothing. And I imagine it will most likely take a lifetime for these truths to sink in, especially for those of us told by the world that we contribute nothing, and are valueless. Love tells us plainly, we are priceless. And that is the truth.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

183: Fallow

183 matthew_hull MF fallow

Nothing is happening and everything is happening. There is no change day to day, month to month, yet in a year all will be different. Let the earth rest then, and recover itself, overtaken by toil, sucked dry like a weary teat hanging, flesh needing to nestle into itself. No infant grain this year to shoot up hurriedly as though reaching the sky were their aim, NASA watching closely. No seedlings shrinking the ever-depleting store of nutrients. Time to lay low, see the clouds float by on the inside of reddened eyelids. Waiting, learning the hard art of Sabbath, remembering how to breathe.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from morguefile.com