The God I know doesn't hold back.
The son he sent to Earth never put limits
on his love, never barricaded hearts or blocked
lungs because he felt someone wasn't
I used to brag about your penmanship, how
neat and thoughtful it looked, sitting on your lap
to learn the way you worked patience into words.
your signature isn't lovely, anymore.
Now, I'm half convinced that you write love when the skies are clear,
but when it rains, your mercy forgets to fall and instead I
shiver from being too far away from your sun.
Perhaps you've proved your love in the most tangible way:
finances, hospital bills, private schools, weekly allowance
but I'll never forget the flaunting,
when your ego reminded me that I couldn't live without you.
That without the bull - the head of the household - I would be
poor, gaunt, better off whoring around in the streets
(after all that's what you said, yet I'm sure you'd deny it now)
I never want to be paralyzed by you again.
Your threat isn't real anymore, because it doesn't matter if
I'm walking the streets of an overpopulated city in search of
a homeless shelter with only a worn backpack and my dog
thirsty for a promise of love's return.
I'm too exhausted to keep this up with you, years of therapy
encouraging me to still reach out to you, and oh how I have.
And there are good days when I feel shame for wanting you in jail,
guilty because so many of my friends never even knew their father,
yet I think of my mother, of the day she said maybe she would have
chosen differently if she would have known
that you have this unsolved anger. You're not willing to change
even though you know the problem and the reason why
and still let the anger damage your heart and family.
There were nights where I prayed for a divorce...
how many children my age would dream of that?
You've made me demented, sick with a dream I know is
too reminiscent of the hopeless romantic that blossomed
when God first named me.
I'm in the ups-and-downs of recovery, disgusted with
abusing myself. Screaming at myself why I'm not grateful,
after all, he only hit me once, he never hit my mother;
though he never violated my innocence, he stole something
else: my desire to lift my head and see something beautiful.
I'm starting to preach to myself now that with this capacity
to love, I can't waste it. I must open my heart more,
but each time I have faith in you and less bitterness in my veins,
you rage through my body and give me disease after disease...
how can you gaze at me time after time and still call me
the lowest words - those hellish, ghoulish curses?
You don't disappoint me anymore
and I've quit begging for answers.
Jesus never warned me about the type of love
that drifts away, abandons the shore because
the pain drowns too much of you.
It's not real if it's always "I love you, but..."
so where do I look? Where do I turn now?
In what direction do I kick my legs?
How long must I keep attempting to swim here?
Why has he dirtied my heart?
And all I keep singing, humming, writing lyrics
to in my mind is:
Were you ever the father I once wanted to be like?
I have to be honest and say I haven't read too much of your work, not least because you don't post massive amounts and so I have to remember to click onto your profile and delve into your back catalogue (terribly difficult, I know!)
Anyway, as much of a cop out as this may seem having said all that, I am not going to patronise you with an over bloated comment full of 'helpful' clichés and other 'insightful' nonsense that you could do without; I don't know, I haven't suffered this. Just know that I have read this thoroughly, twice over, and all I will say is that it is a healthy sort of vent indeed and one that moved me immensely.
All the very best,
Thank you so much, Ben. And no need to explain at all (totally get that!). It was a pleasant surprise to see your honest thoughts and just reading and reaching out means a lot to me. It's honestly weird looking back at this, a year feels so far yet those feelings are still heavy in my heart. But I will work through it. And yes, you're definitely right. It was a healthy kind of vent for me, especially sharing where I will not feel judged or invalidated.
I have so many things I want to say to you about this and my heart is so overwhelmed for you. I feel yourself breaking and trying to go back together again, the absolute heartache and anguish.
Conditional love from a parent is such a cruel feeling. It's not how we were made to live, made to love, and that's why it hurts so much more. You have to guard your heart and find your true joy in Jesus. I hate saying all these cliches but when they are biblical truths, it's the only thing you have in a time of agony.
I had to learn to be comfortable with the tension that our relationships on this world aren't always as Jesus intended. He intended perfection and we cannot live up to that measure. You are in the midst of a truly powerful and world moving testimony, and I'm so grateful you're so open and vocal. God is going to use this mess in your life to save people, physically and eternally. This life isn't easy yet it's so easy to only be focused on our short time here, forgetting we have eternity with the one Father who will never let us down. Love you sweet friend.