This is a response to the fantrabulous BushMaid’s post about Boycotting the Masquerade. If you haven’t read it, go now, and read that other stuff she linked too. I’ll still be here; feel free to take a day or two and think about what she said. And make yourself a cup of tea before starting this, because it is going to be long.
Now. Bluejays are strange creatures.
Besides being the bluest blue ever, they are striking, bold, and fast, like the stripes slashed across their wings. They are defensive of themselves and what they claim for themselves as it takes their fancy. They are loud, jabbering without hesitation and sometimes lashing out. They are beautiful, and terrible, and impulsive. They jabber, and are the kind of self-confident that rings of fear.
I’m really good at being afraid. And that fear drives so many of my actions, and it shouldn’t. At all.
I don’t have much in the way of coordination, but my hands and eyes have always seemed to work together. I can use them to attempt to craft things, like words and pictures on a page, and bracelets and such. I can pick out exactly which tiny bead I want from a pile of them. I’m also afraid when someone is better than I at crafting things with their hands, or being praised over and over. I buy into a Voice that says I’m no good, and that I can only wreck things.
I lack self control and self discipline. I snap at my siblings as soon as I pray for patience and learning how to love. I jump in with thoughts about something, to realize I misunderstood. I don’t read my Bible by myself every day. I try, but it isn’t consistent, day after day after day without missing. God’s there, so why don’t I come to Him, knowing that? I’m afraid that I’ll be taken for granted. I’m afraid that no one loves me, some days, or they don’t love me most.
I’ve got voices that scream in my head like a siren
Fears that I feel in the night when I sleep
Stupid choices I made when I played in the mire
Like a kid in the mud on some dirty blind street [Andrew Peterson, “Fool With a Fancy Guitar,” Counting Stars]
I believe the lies that yammer on in my head, and I try to speak the Truth. These aren’t the Story Voices, or Idea Fish. No, no, those are too kind.
You’ll never be enough. You failed. You don’t make a difference beyond your own family. You aren’t important. You can’t write. You aren’t enough. You mess everything up. You aren’t real. You aren’t a help to anyone. You messed up their day. You are a hypocrite. No one loves you, there is no reason anyone would. You don’t matter. And when Andrew Peterson says they scream in my head like a siren, well, that’s no exaggeration.
Every shroud of anger is sorrow in disguise
The voices, when I believe the voices
That convince me I am worthless, bent on my demise [Eric Peters, “Voices,” Birds of Relocation]
I fail. A lot. I go into a conversation expecting to be calm and clear and composed, and all of a sudden emotions bust out of nowhere, leaving the other person offended and myself frustrated. I respond out of embarrassment instead of love. I plan to ask someone how they are doing, and end up venting to them instead of being there for them. I make things more complicated and abstract than they need to be. I worry that I’m not real with other people.
I am afraid because I see bluejay.
I’ve changed a lot since I was fifteen, and twelve, and two. A lot of days I feel that I haven’t done enough. I could be so much more, and I’m not even halfway there. If I wasn’t so blinded, if I could see better, if I had tried harder, if I had just held out a little bit longer, if I hadn’t been cruel, if I had really tried! I relearn the same things over and over, because I forget so easily.
I’m not looking for sympathy or worry, here. Everyone has ghosts. Everyone gets tired, everyone gets battered by the storms — even if we do love them. The tingeing essence of traveling is home, after all.
Christ told a story to a group of fisherman about a man formerly possessed by a demon that, when it returned, found the man was empty and entered with several more demon.
Empty. Hollow. Not filled.
You cannot eliminate a lie, you cannot fight it, without the Truth. Something has to replace it, and I tell others this and fail to apply it. I sit in a glum mood looking for a distraction instead of fighting back. I affirm the lies in my response to them, and thus I fail my friends. Insecurity is the worst of my own enemies.
And I am so proud. I stumble over my own words, but can sit and mentally cringe over the way others say heartfelt things aloud. I take their way of speaking as insincere. Blinded again, even to my own ways. I’m a bluejay, who struggles to be a wren. Wrens are small, and gentle, and nurturing, with downy gossamer and gentle bright eyes.
I’ve always wanted to be a wren.
Here is a truth that is hard to believe, and so I have to chase it hard. It is a piece of the woven glass I chase through the storm, with battering wings.
God…loves me. Me, with blood-stained hands hanging on to a golden tapestry thread I don’t deserve. Which makes zero sense by human standards, thank you very much. He called me out to my Acher, and all I can see is me.
I see colors, and impressions, but I don’t see clearly. All I see is that I am alone, and dry: barren places alone and spinning where the wind barrels down. I am useless, and I believe it: a crack in the ground. My vision is as bad spiritually as my physical eyes, which is saying something. *cough*
One sight, two steps, and my stone heart crumbled, intake of night wind rushing into starving lungs from apathetic denial. Lanterns, the valley as green as jasper; it was the color of hope–
Just as I am, just as I was
Just as I will be He loves me
He does- Showed me the day
That He shed his own blood
He loves me, oh, He loves me, He does- [Andrew Peterson, “Just As I Am,” Love and Thunder]
You turned a stone into a rose. Mind the thorns, they prick. But roses do grow.
For Further Reading: