I saw a curtain blowing through a broken window of an abandoned house, and it reminded me of a woman’s slip showing after an accidental fall. The need for care exceeds the noticed lace of the slip for brokenness must be cared for, but like the slip, the curtain indicates what once was… and maybe could be again in the right hands.
When I was growing up, old enough to wear a slip, it had adjustable shoulder straps and depending on the length of my dress on Sunday, I might hear my Mom say, “Your slip is showing. Here, let me help you adjust the straps. You don’t want your slip to show.”
A few years later, a woman tripped on icy tree roots in the church yard on a Sunday morning. She broke her wrist right through and it was crooked like stair steps. I remember seeing the lace of her slip showing, the way all of her landed from the fall. I felt embarrassed for her, but realized that the care for her wrist and her scraped knees was a higher priority than covering her slip. Her brokenness and trauma was obvious and required urgent care and healing. Her dress would again cover her slip when she received the help she needed.
I see the broken who live in bodies that need repair, spirits suffering from lack of air, souls in bondage, those things not always visible, yet real… and yet many times they are more concerned about their slip showing. “I see your brokenness; do you?,” I want to ask, shout. But they cannot hear it. What makes someone able to hear about their need, the answer they’ve longed for, the peace that is able to pull through their entire being like a fish net through water?
Jesus addressed many who only wanted entertainment, who did not want to change, many who could not see the reflection of white-washed tombs when looking in a mirror. Theirs were eyes that could not see, ears that could not hear, and hearts that could not understand, having been hardened by religion and pain, what He offered freely. And yet He knew it would be that way.
But the truly broken, those who followed out of the need for God-love, the poor in spirit, knowing full well their slip was showing, but crying out all the same for soul-mending, watching as He divided and multiplied lunch – they received more than bread and fish. The Shepherd gave of Himself from an endless supply of love, acceptance, healing and they were satisfied.
When I saw the house, I wanted to go tuck that pink curtain back inside the window like I had wanted to pull the dress down over the slip, restoring dignity, bringing comfort. But when I know something deeper is the greater need, I look for ways to bring the healing Jesus gave us to distribute. And the adjusting of the dress may still come first, the comfort given leading into understanding with ears wide open to the Spirit’s voice. The feeding of loaves and fish, the meeting of the need obvious, some fellowship or conversation is a welcome not small. Jesus started with welcome, then taught truth that cut through the facade. Healing followed for they knew they were purely loved by the One unbroken.
“Jesus welcomed the people, He taught them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those in need.” Luke 9:11
Jesus, show me more ways to do the same. Help me see the needs and know the best way to love. And help me be less concerned about my slip showing so that I see with Your eyes…
(c) January 2012, Robin Lawrimore
Last photo by Rachel Kennedy, a daughter with an amazing eye that captures life.