When I met you, the first thing you noticed was this band aid on my chest. You asked if you could touch it and maybe take it off and see the wound underneath. I didn’t let you. I think it was more like I couldn’t let you. What was underneath was too much to bare, too much to witness. You see I don’t even know everything that is underneath this thing… this thing that I keep putting on. On some days, it starts to peel off and my demons try to escape but I have a pocket full of replacements ready to go. But you wouldn’t leave me be. I met you again when I was 16 and you didn’t ask me about it. Instead you stayed and loved me. I mean you truly loved me. Loved the darkness straight out of me and the unhappy. You showed me that your thoughts were always with me. You were consumed and obsessed. Then you told me that your shoulders were mine to cry on. Those hands, you placed on my chest and felt the beat of my heart, read my mind and promised that it was beating for a purpose; one I could not yet see. Your knees were bended for me; always interceding in prayer for me. Your heart, pure and gentle, I had broken more times than I could count by the time I was 18. So I stopped. I stopped running to you. I stopped counting how many first time meetings we had. You and I seemed to be two unmatched puzzle pieces desperately trying to fit. Fire and ice, were we. But I couldn’t let you love me, this damaged me. I would get it right, I told myself and when I did I would come back to you. But I never got it right. And those band aids… I kept reapplying them. But soon others starting asking and I knew then I had to find one that was invisible so I started smiling all the time. Smiled wide enough to compete with the width of the Nile and people stopped asking but you didn’t. In the background you kept loving.
I hit rock bottom today. I was 20, sitting in the kitchen, wreaking of the vodka from the morning before and staring at this knife that looked so freeing and beautiful. You walked in and sadness filled your every being. I think I really hurt you that day but still couldn’t understand why you were here for me. I tried to speak but my tongue was silenced. For a split second, I looked at you and could have sworn I saw anger. “Leave, get out! I don’t want you here? I don’t know why you are here, wanting me, loving me. Do you not see who I am right now? Do you not see my hands, dirty? My body. Look at it! I’ve done so much to this body and I can promise nothing about it was holy. And you still want me. Oh how dirty and vile a possession like would be.” I think He got tired of me speaking. He grabbed my arms, still tender, looked into my eyes and said I love you. Ripped off the band aid and everything came spilling out. My demons, I could hear them screaming. You made my scars reopen and I wanted to hate you for it. I remember beating on your chest, begging you to put me down but you wouldn’t listen to me. You wouldn’t give me my band aid back. “No more hiding, no more lying. No more pain and no more running from me. Do you not see how much I love you? What I have sacrificed to have you, free? No more. I am staying here with you and we will deal with the scars and the pain.” He held me and spoke and for the first in I don’t know how long, I felt loved, unconditionally loved. Freed and wanted.
When I was 20 I had my last first meeting with you and I thought it was fitting that I introduced myself. I know you thought I was crazy since you already knew everything there was to know about me but I did it anyway. Hi, my name is Lise. You replied, “My child, my name is Jesus.”