a story I wrote to accompany my “Perfect Love Has Scars” jewelry line over at DesignCraft Jewelry
Once upon a time I was a child and I loved without fear.
I was a tree on a hill stretching my branches to the sky, drinking in the sunshine through my leaves and warming my face with the sun’s breath as I wiggled my roots in the soft earth and smiled at the baby birds who rested in my hair, praising the Maker for newness and life.
Then, one day, the sun hid his face behind thundering clouds, hail pelted my trembling branches and howling winds ripped across the hill, twisting my beautiful, lithe trunk into the shape of a deformed old woman, then lightning flashed across the sky and struck me.
It struck me and killed the child inside,
the child that saw rainbows in every cloud.
I never knew love and beauty held the power to pain.
Time cannot heal scars soul-deep. In the springtime a knot, calloused and bulging, will grow to hide the hurt but it cannot take away the anguish that hides buried deep inside.
That passing cloud, puffing across the clear blue sky, may provide rain to nourish my roots and dance with my leaves but it may also contain pain and more shattered dreams.
I watched as a tiny worm inched timidly across my stubby wound. Like the worm, I felt exposed and vulnerable–a naked caterpillar is easy prey. So I crafted my shell and spun my cocoon, hiding my heart from prying eyes.
If I love nothing, nothing can hurt me.
But then “nothing” is all I have left.
I am a lonely tree on a hill, an adult foolish in my wisdom, with nothing to lose because I’ve already lost God’s greatest gift, content to exchange hope of heaven for hell on earth, the only place “safe from the dangers and perturbations of love”.
I am doubting Thomas: grief-stricken, angry and distant, demanding proof of true love’s existence, denying its power. But then my Savior beckons me to place my fingers in his palms, to touch and see…
…and I see that perfect Love has scars.
A carpenter shoulders his ax and trudges up a hill to a tree twisted and bent over backward from a long-gone tornado, with a bulging knot from where one of its branches was struck off by lightening and he cuts it down.
With patient care, he divides the tree into smaller sections, hauls away the brush and carts the logs home. In his workshop he whittles, shapes, sands and carves till the evening shadows fall long across his dusty shop floor and the cicadas hum their goodnight tune. In the end, he has a simple, wooden box that he carries inside and places on the mantle. In the glow of the firelight, the little box shimmers, its black-streaked grain curled in ornate designs the lightening and wind had left.
It is more beautiful than any other box the carpenter made.
And it is beautiful because of its scars.