I thought that by this time of my life that with the emerging wholeness that comes with time and faith I would “feel” more whole. That feeling, I imagined, would bring me to a zen-like state where I was always at peace and had a soulful spirituality so deep that I would feel…I don’t know…right. On the insides I mean.
I had a crazy dream the other night. You know, the kind of wacko dream that you would never share out loud because you would sound like a crazy person. I will spare you the details, but there was one part of the dream that not only stuck with me throughout the next day, it made absolute sense to my confused mind. A scene played before my sleeping consciousness where I was searching for people that understood me, and I was searching for their approval and affection. There were so many people around me, but I had eyes only for those who, as John Eldredge so eloquently says, “saw what my heart saw.” The kind of attention and connection I was searching for felt wrong, even though I didn’t know why.
I was sitting in church the next day, sinking into this one solitary thought. What does it mean and why does it feel wrong?
A different scene played before me, but in my very alert conscious state of mind this time around. I saw myself as a puzzle piece, surrounded by countless other pieces, creating an ever-clearer picture of something far Greater and absolutely Other than myself. Then, one by one, other pieces throughout the puzzle leaped from the page of my mind, coming into focus, calling me to notice them. I had such a longing to attach myself to those pieces I was detached from, so desperate to understand myself through understanding the whole.
So, why is it wrong? I can’t be sure, but this is what I do know. The clearer God becomes, the clearer my insides become, the clearer the image of God becomes in the faces of all those my eyes see, the more I feel like a very small, yet priceless, puzzle piece trying to find itself in the whole picture. The way I try is often through feeling known and valued by others. The way I know I need to try is by feeling known and valued by the Artist of the picture, the absolute Other, the Image which spans the entirety of the creation I find myself a part of.
If I seek to attach myself to others who “sees what my heart sees” in an effort to feel whole, I may be in danger of detaching myself from the One who already knows what my heart sees, and is, and longs for.
So, I must sit in this unpleasant brokenness. Not only within myself, but in this world. I must be part of the whole while feeling broken. I must wait patiently for the full restoration that is promised to us. I must heed the warning from the One who is always speaking to me yet is so often unheard, “Beware of seeking others to soothe your aching heart because it is I alone who is able.”
I sit with all of you, my fellow broken pieces, holding hands with the ones who are on a journey to being restored to the full and perfect image of God. I am a part of you, but I mustn’t hold on too tight. I have to let go so I don’t distort the picture in any way. Even in the letting go, I cherish every single missing piece.