This morning I felt something break inside my chest. It was not a bone or an artery or my heart, but it was physical. It felt like a thin glossy sheet of bitter candy, the last vestiges of something that had coated my heart for a long time now. It shattered and spun away, tiny pieces exploding into space. I never wanted it back.
Prior to this, I would not have described my anxiety as a weight on my chest. Because I could not remember living without it, I had not known there was any other way to feel. How do you know a piece of yourself needs to be removed if it’s always been there and you’ve always worked with it, or around it?
A few days earlier, I had experienced something else. I’d awakened with fear as I often did, and I prayed. “Please, God, I need you,” I said. And then I heard an answer. “I need you too.”
This blew my mind. It was revolutionary. God needed me? I mattered? I might even have an important role in this world we all inhabit? This was Wild Jesus. This was God saying to me, “I am not just here to help you solve your problems. You are also here to help me solve mine.”
And that was news, too. God’s got problems? I thought this over and decided that, yes, he/she/it does. Look around. So much hate. So much war and starvation. So many people without homes. So much of this beautiful garden called earth being abused and polluted. I’m telling you, we’ve got problems and if we’ve got problems, God’s got problems too. Big ones.
I lay in bed stewing this over, realizing that we might not be here just for someone’s entertainment. We might actually be here to help each other. Maybe I’m here to offer something. Even if I don’t know what that is, I can start in one small way. I can be okay with myself, even with my many flaws. I can make a choice to step out into the day and do my very best and forgive myself and others for falling short.
And then two days later something broke open in my chest and spun away and I have been breathing deeply ever since.