Sunday, February 12, 2006

lies, lies, lies

i lied yesterday. i was smiling and looking right at the guy, too. that i let him walk away and didn't right the lie, troubled me more than anything. it was a very conscious lie.

on the scale of whiteness to darkness, it was a whiteish lie. but the fact that such a scale even exists (even in my mind) troubles me beyond words.

sin is sin. when i lie, i sin. period.

the thing i'm coming to understand that i've never understood before is, i lie. i do all the prohibited things in the book, quite easily, mind you. and yet, i am still the beloved.

God has some skewed priorities, eh? to love a liar like me.

i pray about the books i read. trusting the right book to fall into my hands at the appointed time. today i cracked open nouwen's life of the beloved, and from the first words i nearly wept. that i was in a conference center type venue, and i was supposed to be hocking my wares and could do much better business without much weeping and tears was reminder for me to keep them at bay.

i don't often keep tears at bay. i let them come when they will. i let them course down my face and am largely immune to it now. but today, seven days into my week without a sabbath, all i wanted to do was lie down and cry, then sleep. but i could not.

to top it off, i fought with my husband, and forgot my wool sweater on the couch. so i was cold. my feet were cold, but i had my wool socks and put them on. my other parts were cold and i produced a long wool scarf my sister knitted for me when i was in california in october.

so your neck will never be cold,
she said as she wrapped me in its bountiful loft.

little did she know it would stave off the cold which crept in and threatened my soul today. she helped keep the tears at bay with her gift of warmth.

being cold makes me feel like a little child. being tired does that too. i don't reason well. i don't do much well when i'm tired or cold. i just want to curl up in a ball and get warm. but i could not.

some sixteen years ago at a powwow i heard the gourd dancers blow an english bugle. my comanche friend later told me,
it must have been captured.

the bugle, apparently, had been passed down through generations and found its way to the very powwow where i held a jingly anklet and considered buying it.

i bought that jingly anklet today, shed my woolen socks, and have gourd dance music playing now. the slight jingle dress sound soothes me. the weight of the silver encircling my ankle is a strange comfort.

so nouwen's book tells me, you are the beloved. the greatest gift of friendship is to give each other the gift of our belovedness. and i sat, head back in my chair trying to stave off tears, lying again.

i don't ever want my existence to become the masked collage of right things to say and do that means nothing. sure a feeling, emoting, active existence is troubling and bewildering, awe-ful and exciting--but the other way, disconnected, is no way to live.

i've lived that way. i won't go back to that place of bondage. but i find myself wanting to push away from the circles of friends i inhabit. i find myself wanting to take refuge by running away. i'm afraid again.

i'm afraid the lies are more indicative of who i am than i ever understood before or imagined. i'm afraid my seeming pure intentions are something other than what i believe them to be. i'm afraid, to ensnare any pristine soul. but then i wonder, is there such a thing? a pristine soul?

are we not all barbed, and liars, and redeemed, and beloved? are not we all a bit afraid and cold and tired? do we not all stave off tears and try to keep a smile?

i think we are more alike than it is comfortable to admit. i lied yesterday. i will probably lie tomorrow. but i will repent quickly and be restored. i pray the same for you.

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