Sunday, March 6, 2011

burning the china cabinet

   the china cabinet shakes. from a once thought to be familiar source of hope for loose ribbons to be tied tighter, it grabs the top, the middle and even reaches the bottom where the delicate feet are carved in fine, rare, wood, and the whole cabinet is rocked. dishes once held dearly close to my heart were thrown from the shelves and their shattering can be heard echoing in my head over and over and over. every tiny piece of bone china that once gave purpose to the cabinet sang in a crescendo as slivers of glass nestled themselves in my skin because, of coarse, i was standing too close.
   a slow, deep breath of  fresh new oxygen replenishes my lungs and i am relieved of the duty of carrying these dishes any more. these delicately painted, reminders of waiting for something that will never arrive. i am able to sweep it all up, bag it and throw it into the trash receptacle; experiencing the shatter again when i toss it all in. each broken piece shifting in the bag as it settles into a resting place until "trash day".
   i feel heavy although relieved as i stare at the empty cabinet which now has no purpose. my fingers slide across the empty shelves and run smoothly over the carvings of a crafty man. i wonder how well it would be received by my husband and children if i took a hammer to it? making that lovely cabinet into nothing more then splinters to carry to the burn pile.
proverbs 13:12 says hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. what happens when that hope that has been deferred is suddenly extinguished? when the heart is already so sick with deferral, can it survive or is it impending doom? what about the longing fulfilled? the tree of life?
   i am the cabinet. shaken and now splintered. heading for the burn pile. those dishes i carried in the recesses of my mind, they looked so pretty from far away. once examined it looked as if they'd been used several times during a muddy picnic, with no washing after the flee of wind and rain. dirt i never had to display and only did by choice, sharing it with few. now handing it back to it's source. laying the messy pile in the lap of selfishness and guilt desguised as love.
   in the burn pile i am refined. the Lord sends dry winds and the flames burn hotter and lick the sky. they singe away all that has hurt my heart. in the fire i am repaired. refined. a burnt sacrifice.  i offer my brokeness up to Him that is the Great I am knowing He alone can heal my world-wounds with a comfort and love that no earthly father could ever provide. i will burn carved up, fine. rare wood and pray with all that is in me that i am to He who loves me most a fragrant sin offering making atonment for the sins of my father and his father and the ones before him as well. the hurt will stop here in Jesus name. 

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