she said it, admitted it. i am jonah under a shade palm, fearing nineveh and the hardness in my heart, knowing full well i belong there, preaching a gospel of Good News. knowing the outcome.
a few short weeks of halting, cautious phone calls, the how'reyous and long pauses and static air on more than just the line, we went There. we crossed the comfortable limit, we talked about him. she didn't want to, insisting there is no present in the past, and i fight, but there's no present without the past, and so i shyly, insistently, suggest i'd never had my say. and she said,
"you're right. i never believed you when you were younger."
my heart freezes, tears drip hot. i've longed for these words, but they make me hurt in a blinding way, and i don't know how to hold the universe in. breathe.
we talk about the sticky grace, and i'm reminded all over of ann's post on forgiveness.
the boys watch a favorite tv show and the cat comes to nuzzle a foot, and i wonder how can all this normal be, when she's telling me the reality didn't match the princess she finally believed herself to be? she felt alive and full and knightly woo'd, and when we told her he hurt us, she couldn't believe. he wouldn't let her, and so silence won for years.
but today we courted the words, danced shakily around that one word louder than all others, abuse, and she cries tears that i seem to feel wet on my own cheek.
life intervenes (when did normal become ironic?), and it's time to return to hungry boys and rush to lifegroup, but she asks if we have time to pray, if we have time to practice sticky grace, and my heart rebelled, no...i'm not ready for this yet, i'm not ready. glue. she prays for healing, and i stream silent and whisper amen, and the phone clicks and i shake. it was easier before. silence was righteous and proud and i knew my way home, but now i'm in a foreign country and i can't read the signs and i don't know where i'm going, but i'm jonah called to preach. to live grace that's not mine to harbor, for as meg says, at the foot of the cross it's all level.
i'm torn. i hope. i fear. i'm angry and excited. prayers would be welcome.