Today I wounded someone I love. The arrow, straight and sharp, flew precisely and with surprising velocity directly to his heart, carrying the words to the heart-spot most vulnerable to pain. In horror I heard his heart crack, leaving an ugly fissure. I shrank from his anger and left the room.
How did those words get past my lips? Why on this day did my guard drop and allow this arrow to escape? Twelve Step groups warn of the imminent danger of HALT: hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. Flipping back the pages of past weeks in my mind, I locate all four. I see irritability over issues, big and little, rising up and unresolved. I see physical and emotional exhaustion. I also find another companion to these four – the one with the most power. Fear. I find an attitude of scarcity competing every day with an attitude of gratitude.
I muse about this all, waiting hopefully for a reconciling conversation. I have learned once again the dangers of living in enemy-occupied territory. I have lost this battle of evil over love. My heart is wounded, too.
Will this fissure cause indelible damage? Will this fault line produce a volcano? Or will shared love seal over the crack? Whatever the result, I have re-learned a hard lesson: pain causes pain. Hurt people hurt people. Amends will be needed. But only the love of God can mend our hearts and make us whole.
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