Scratching the Surface
Sitting here this morning, tidying up this blog site as one does when one doesn’t want to actually work on writing something of significance, I notice a couple of drafts that never made it to publication–from August, 2018.
One particular writing had to do with doors; my first post back from hibernation had to do with a home with open doors:
I had the strangest of dreams, with a snapshot so vivid–
All the doors were opened in my home. Yes, scary in a horror flick to have a door unlocked somewhere for evil to enter in. But it feels different as I remember the overall pic of a home that is my home, but is not my home, a bit grander with a large front porch and shutters on the windows on either side.
All the doors are open.
Doors. Open. All.
I hear the words enter in, from within, as I enter into a long run, “Josie, all the doors are open.”
The difference in the writing from last August? The door was shut.
This moment may have been months ago, but I hope it speaks to you, and continues to speak to me, today.
Days ago, I felt the steam rise to the surface from deep within. I took a deep breath, and the tension released some. But, as the day continued, agitation crawled under the surface, just deep enough to not be comforted by a scratch. Uncomfortable. I blamed it on the fact I listened to voicemails of Bill, but didn’t have time to sob my way through them as I normally did, but wiped my tears quickly as I needed to walk out the door.
It was a phrase I woke to, playing me awake like an alarm clock-
Open the door.
For some time I’ve looked for potential openings in front of me, or any that may potentially be something if I just walked forward–everything from jobs, volunteer positions, speaking opportunities, etc. with the hope the door opened before me as it did at a grocery store, once I walked that way.
It seems though, every time I push the door a bit, my fingers close in the door jam.
But, the other day, for the millionth time – exaggeration – slight- I said to my sister while sitting in the parking lot before a church service, that yet another door has closed that appeared to be open.
As I say this aloud, with a ‘nobody wants me’ inflection, I hear words rise up from within, saying, “Josie, you know the door to open is the one to your heart.”
Yes, it seems so.
No, I haven’t pushed too hard here.
I don’t want to disrupt her fragility.
That, and I am tired.
I have only just begun to feel respite from acute grief.
So at church, in the midst of service on the entirely-too-familiar passage of the prodigal son, I hear the speaker make a statement about the older brother, about the fact that he stood outside the door and refused to enter in.
God wanted him to open the door, and attend the celebration.
He chose instead to leave the door closed.
Later at dinner, a new friend says something so endearing, it instantly causes my eyes to well up, as happens when it hits immediately to the heart of the matter:
Josie, it is okay to be mad at God.
Yes, I am mad.
Fifteen months and many tears, I have yet to ask the one question one would wonder would have been at the front-end of this journey, “Why?”
“Why did you take him?”
“Why did you do this to me?”
I have barely scratched the surface – barely acknowledged that I may be a tad peeved.
It has been steaming under the surface for some time.
I am uncomfortable expressing normal anger tendencies.
Those who know me most realize this. It can take much for me to become heated, until a small speck of a trivial thing can send me into a full-out meltdown.
I push slightly, afraid to enter fully.
The door opens.
Heat rises within.