Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mangled, Healing Heart

I stand before the mirror. Beside my reflection stands a man dressed in black.

Though he's not family or friend, he's no stranger to me. His name is sometimes Thief, sometimes Liar, Snake, Death.

He watches me with sneering eyes that dance with fear. He looks me up and down and licks his lips. I glance at his reflection in the mirror and grimace.

"Go away."

There was a time, before I new him as well as I do now, when he seemed so handsome and seductive in my eyes. He came to me in a time of extreme confusion, when I thought all I needed was to feel loved. And I did, but not by just anybody.

We began to spend more and more time together. He promised to give me everything I needed. As soon as I agreed to trust him, he reached inside his coat, drew out a knife and drove it right through my heart. He skewered any love and confidence I had in myself. And as I stood there, weeping, staring up at him with shocked disbelief, my torn and bleeding heart in my hands, he caressed my face gently. He neared his mouth to my ear and whispered that it was all okay.

"You just need to try a little harder," he whispered to me. "Be a little smatter, a little prettier. Do that and you can have this" - he took my mangled heart from me - "back."

And so from then on I did what he said. Come here, go there, wear this, wear that, eat this, eat that, listen to this, listen to that, look at her, look at him. Everything he said I did. I obeyed without protesting, rarely questioning, always following.

Then one night, I had a sudden thought. 'I don't have to keep doing this...'

And so I began refusing him. He would say, "Come here," and I would force myself to stay or run the opposite way.

Obviously, he did not like that. But I knew I had to break ties with him completely.

So I found a new Friend. The best one I've ever had. He rescued me and gave my heart back to me, wounded, yes, but healing, nonetheless.

And now I stand before the mirror and Liar is here beside me.

"Go away," I tell him, reaching for a hairbrush and running it through my hair.

"Why do you even try?" Liar sneers. "You know you're not good enough. You never will be, no matter what."

I clench my teeth. His words hurt. I begin to panic. No, no, no, I tell myself. Don't listen to him. Don't listen.

"Just be quiet. Leave me alone. I'm over you," I say with my strongest voice and go on to tie my hair up into a ponytail.

"Stop it!" He yells suddenly. "I can't stand it! Stop! No matter what you do you'll never be good enough, you hear me? Never!"

I stare at myself in the mirror, my eyes wide. Old fears and insecurities start rushing back. My heart beats faster, beating itself up against my chest. He's right...

"You're right," I whisper, my voice breaking.

"No, he's not," says a third voice.

In the mirror, another Man stands beside me. His face is kind but it holds a righteous fierceness about it. There's a glow about Him that I can't explain, but I slowly begin to feel more and more at peace, though my old wounds still throb and sting inside.

The Man looks at me with eyes so full of love. "You're perfect the way you are," He tells me softly.

Liar scoffs. "She'll never get anywhere in life."

My Defender glares at him. "You don't know that. You didn't make her, did you?"

"Whatever. Look at her! She's uh-gly! And pretty stupid, too."

"She was beautifully, perfectly designed to fulfill the purpose for which she was made."

I take a step closer to the white-robed man and take His outstretched hand. He holds it firmly and draws me closer to Him.

Liar screams and punches the wall.

The Man wraps His arms around me. He pulls away gently and looks down at me, smiling tenderly. After giving my face one last caress, He gives me a little push.

"Okay, now. You're going to be late to school."

I give Him one last embrace, and leave the room. Again He has reminded me that I am beautiful. Not according to MTV or Popstar. But according to the Lord Most High.

And whose opinion can I value more than His?

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