I went out with a friend for coffee. Our bubbly conversation about kids, weight gain and crazy relatives turned into a sniffy, nose dripping lament about the deep hurts that life brings. Country Western legend Hank Williams had nothing on me with his somebody-done-me-wrong songs. Laments were my forte. Swollen eyes and runny mascara were my calling card.
“I can’t cry,” my friend said her hands gripping her coffee cup so tightly I expected the enamel to crack, “If I start, I’ll never stop.”
I just stared at her, tears welling in my eyes.
“You don’t understand,” she said, “If I stop holding myself together, I’ll fall completely apart. I’ll never be able to put myself back together again.”
“All the kings horses and all the kings men,” I murmured. This was not exactly a great response. But all I could think of was Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall. No one ever put him together again.
Frankly, the poem was so short, I never figured out if Humpty Dumpty actually survived his brokenness. I’d like to know.
In the last few years, a loneliness has taken roots in my complacency. A longing for connection pushes against the shell that protects my heart. When I least expect it, I am overwhelmed with emotion. Sometimes it happens in church, sometimes in casual conversation. Something inside me is breaking.
I don’t want to fall apart, let everyone see the uncertainty, the part of me that shows my weakness. I don’t want people to know that at best I am nothing more than a scrawny little sheep.
Bottom line – If I do shatter into a million pieces I’d much prefer that all the kings horses and all the kings men but me back together so I resemble the even tempered, hardworking Christian I have always been.
But, the helpless sheep is who I really am. That is all God expects me to be.