I feel upturned. Inside, mostly. I told my mom over coffee this morning that I don’t understand why God does this to me.
“God does this to you?” she smirked, swirling her morning tea with a spoon. She paused, letting the cream swirl in that beautiful caramel circle as she turned to me. “God does this to you. Hm. Have you looked in the mirror lately?”
I gave her a fake frown. Sipped my coffee. Rolled my eyes. And then said, “Well, yes I have. Why?”
I sometimes imagine God as a puppet master. His entertainment is pulling on the strings that make our arms and legs jerk helplessly, against our will. He pulls us along and displays a beautiful scene, but inside I feel like nothing more than an example of someone who has gone slightly mad.
I know this view of him is wrong. It’s a shadow of truth and lies. I take it to the cross and bury it there in tears. I can almost relate to St. Catherine of Siena when she refers to God as “Oh Divine Madman!” Except she does so because she sees his insane love for us. I whisper those words because I fear the worst.
So I stare into this mirror and I see broken pieces of what I do not understand. I look and I see myself. This curly-haired, green-eyed, somewhat frenetic mess of a girl. It’s her who is running me into the ground. It’s those eyes that never close, these ears that selectively hear, these hands that wring, this mouth that speaks doubt. This mind behind it all that dreams, and plans, and hopes against all hope, and crashes when all hope seems lost. I see her. I see her clearly. It’s Him I see dimly.
I think of that scene, in Pride and Prejudice (the new one, though I’m still blood-loyal to the BBC version) where Lizzie stares at a mirror for what seems to be hours, even as Mr. Darcy comes into the room and leaves her a truth-revealing letter. She stares into a mirror that grows darker with the night. The truth at her side, she stares into candlelight and things dimly lit. As am I — staring and missing the truth.
At what point will I rest my puppet arms, and lean back into His? When can I untie my own strings and turn from my own madness? I want to look into a mirror that loses its self-reflection, and instead becomes a looking glass into truth. When will I breathe deep and let go of that gnawing lie that I have to control everything? That lie is grinding my soul into fine dust.
He blows on that dust, it scatters on the surface of glass, and I look for the truth that sets me free. A fracture of light skims and dives into my heart.
“For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:23-25