Life can pare us down to the bone. All that remains is a thin veneer of capability.
We can plaster on a smile but it doesn’t always hide heartache within.
Our souls can wear a semblance of normality yet shield a great deal of pain on the inside.
I was reminded of feeling this way recently when accompanying my husband to a hospital waiting room.
Such places provide a glimpse of the struggles others go through, although the evidence isn’t always evident.
We sit, trying to be patient patients in an environment guaranteed to provoke into anxiety, and you don’t have to be the one waiting to be seen to feel it.
We tend to cast covert glances around the room while being careful not to catch an eye. So much is given away by the windows of our soul, isn’t it?
Because who wants their concerns flagged up for all to see? Who can cope with a stranger’s curiosity?
Most of us just want to conceal our stuff, our inner baggage. Hide our woundedness from others.
How do I cope when life gets hard? I think a lot. Too much, sometimes. I cry. I pray. I read God’s word. I journal and I write poetry…
A thin veneer
She watches thin veneer curling away at edges
panels pared down to chine-bone, chipped
away by ravages of years and time
Hardly a soul here now, barely a breath
to stir antiseptic air made stale by fear
in this orthopaedic waiting room
Anxiety stalks these walkways where hushed
voices betray a reverence for medicine
Eyes flit to ceiling marred by blind hanging
by a thread, with silted panes protruding
beneath, clouding out blue sky, limiting
horizon for those seeking some escape
So we wait, reluctant clock-watchers of the hours
and see, with incredulity, how mere minutes
have passed since last we glanced at glass
Spirits sag in sympathy with weary bodies
wearing but a thin veneer of patience here
One thing I do know with complete certainty.. God loves you and me.
Jesus came to liberate us from inner loneliness, fear and anxiety. To open us up to a transformed way of thinking and being.
He offers us a way to break free from fear. To be so secure in His love, so changed by His grace that we no longer need to hide ourselves away.
We can live an open-hearted, giving and receiving kind of life when we turn to Him, become redeemed, restored and refuelled for wherever the journey may take us.
And those veneers we wear will gradually strip away. We can be real. We can be free. We can be all God intends us to be by His grace.