Have I Loved?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"It seems no one can feel as deeply as you."

My breath caught in my throat at the words. I felt suddenly smaller, dizzy, hushed. Then the burn started in my chest, the slow flush of shame, the pounding that comes from being caught red-handed at something you aren't supposed to do.

It's not that I'm intentionally self-absorbed. Few of us are. We naturally assume the position of protagonist in our own stories. We get knocked around a bit in the plotline, follow our predictable reactions with our obvious solutions, and congratulate ourselves on the lessons we learn as we become better, wiser characters. Always, though, we maintain that we are the main character, we are the good guy.

We don't get into the heads of the people around us to know what they think of us. Or what they think of their own lives. Or how we affect their lives.

"People do that, Lauren knew. They influence other lives without permission. She might pass someone a thousand times, drive by where they work every day, sit a row behind them on an airplane, eat at the same restaurant, then somehow they become important, essential even, life-changing, perhaps." (Cindy Martinusen, Eventide)

I have been looking in a mirror again, this one cracked and shattered so that my face appears in many distorted portions. Seeing my face in this mirror, the sum of what I know people have seen in me, has left me humiliated. "What must they have been thinking when I..."

I have suddenly stopped questioning why I feel that no one wants me.

Have you ever felt that I thought the depth of your feelings was more important than my own?

How could you have loved me at all?

Why are some of you still here?

You can't hear me, but I write in a whisper. I whisper to hide the lump in my throat, to try to stem the tears of realization. I whisper because I have no right to shout. There is no vent for me here, no right to rant or rail at the "injustice" of my life.

There is still a place for me. It is in His love. I am finding that only there am I able to live with my wreckage. But here in His love, He is the hero - I am the shallow side character who is not as deep as He is. He's the only protagonist in any story who can fully know Himself... and the people He influences.

God, change me.


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