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Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You Are More

Inspired by an excellent poem/post, Scarred, on cutting by my friend and adopted brother, Miguel.
This is a story.

You Are More?

Would the memories ever go? I set the iron aside and clutched at the ironing board with both hands, gripping it, knuckles turning white as flashbacks of what I had done soared up once more.
I closed my eyes tightly, biting my lip, praying that my brother and sister in the next room wouldn't hear my gasping breath, walk in and see the tears gushing silently down my twisted face.
For the umpteenth time, I reached into my pocket, slowly pulling out a silver pen. I stared down at it for a brief moment, before flicking the catch to 'on'.

Pulling up my sleeve, I stared down at the faded ink scrawl on my skin, reading the words aloud in my mind.
"Gomer - TWLOHA."
Above and to the right of it, I'd scrawled the motto of the organisation - To Write Love on Her Arms.

TWLOHA is an organisation dedicated to helping young people with problems...addictions, self harm and the like. I've never been involved with it, but I liked what I had heard, particularly as people I helped were involved with pornography and cutting.

Gomer is a Biblical character from the book of Hosea. God commands Hosea to complete a strange task - to marry a prostitute and have children by her. Gomer runs away from Hosea, and he buys her back and makes her stay with him. It's God's portrayal to fallen Israel of His love for her, though she sought after many false gods.

And to me, Gomer is myself. And Hosea is as God. For what I did, I was no better than a whore. And God consistently reminded me of leaving my first Love, and wooed me back through painful paths.

But sometimes the memories come back, thick and dark. And Gomer herself is only remembered as being a whore. And I turn my eyes from Christ's radiance back to the dark memories and the shadows of my past...

And I raise the pen to my arm, and watch the ink stain my skin deeper as I rewrite the words for the hundredth time.
Gomer ~ TWLOHA

It's almost like a brand for me. Whore. You are nothing better than a whore.

Suddenly, writing To Write Love on Her Arms above and below "Gomer" isn't enough to punish myself with. I forget the purpose of it, the remembrance that I have been redeemed, like Gomer, and only remember that she was a whore.

With a feeling of agony pervading me, I tug back my sleeve a little further, to the soft tender skin just below the crook of my arm. I write fiercely, the metal capping of the pen causing a teeny bit of pain as it scratches my skin. Mostly, it's just Gomer, over and over. Then I write Whore. Not once or twice, but over and over, intermittent through the Gomers. And even one 'Prostitute'.

But those tiny scribbles were blurry. Certainly not big and bold and staring enough to condemn me to myself, much less the world.

I rotate my arm to see the forearm. Clean, white, soft. Belonging to someone as guilty and dirty as I. Clenching my teeth to hold back the falling tears, I scratch more names onto the surface.

"Self Centred"

Names I've heard time and again...and then followed by names that I call myself. Wound around, and about, and underneath.

"Porn Object"

And over and around, wrapping them together, "Whore", "Whore", "Whore".

I stopped and stared down at my arm. No longer white and pure, it was scribbled on with large blue capital letters - distorted, ugly words - but no uglier than my heart, my nature.

The pain...! Why won't seeing myself as I am, me on me, ease the pain? I blinked hard and turned to the drawer beneath the working surface...fumbling in a section, I brought out a knife. It's not really sharp enough, but it's the only one that's clean. I don't like infection too much...

I raised it and slowly drew it across the surface of my arm, willing it to go deeper. It scratched the surface. I repeated it again, and again, crisscrossing the surface, afraid to push it deeper.

I stop and look at my arm. Thin little red scratches show up, but not blood. I'm too coward to draw blood. Suddenly, I fling my arms out across the ironing board and cry out, "Oh God! I'm so sorry! So, so sorry...please, help me."

I sob broken phrases. "I'm sorry...for everything...for fighting You...for constantly putting other things before You...I will read Your Word after this, I promise..." Eventually the tears ease and I raise myself wearily from my hunched position to finish off what remained of the ironing.

Curling up on the sofa next to my sister-in-law - my brother-in-law's sister, I glance over. For once, I am alone in sister and sister-in-law are both fast asleep. My sister-in-law lies next to me, with the quilt pulled well over her head and wrapped around her tightly. Hiding...insecure...both of them. All of us. I smile faintly as I open to the Scripture. It's been four days since I managed to read, and I finally have silence and stillness to come before God.

Peace envelops me as I turn attention determinedly to the Bible, praying and making the effort to keep my heart on what I'm reading. I begin to wonder why I was seeing myself through my eyes...why I was being so self centred. I look down at my arm, the other words now scrubbed away. "Gomer ~ TWLOHA".

God loved a whore. God loves me. God remembers my sins no more.

You are more than the choices that you've made -
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.
You are more than the problems you create -
You've been remade!
You've been remade, you've been remade.
You've been remade...

(c) Tenth Avenue North

Story based on fact; used by permission of my friend, Janelle Stevenson.

Written by Jane Johnson