Kaleidoscope Heart.

Four rows up from me was this willowy brunette who kept shaking her long silken locks, completely unaware that I was not-so-subtly attempting to burn holes in the back of her head with my slightly-squinted snakelike stare.  And yes, I was an eensy bit comforted at the thought of what she must spend on conditioner every month, but beyond that, I hated her.  Because beyond her greenbean-esque torso and the aforementioned locks of fairy tale proportions, halfway through the church service (…yes all of this hate was happening at church, I know, I know!) halfway through the church service she was handed a comfy grey sweater by her sitting-so-close-boyfriend to slip over her cold shoulders.

I mean, the nerve! Right? I mean, here she is, while I’m trying to leave my junk at the altar and really learn something new about the Lord or the world, or okay, I don’t really remember all of what I was supposed to be stuffing away in my insides to make me more like Jesus, but here she was swishing her perfect hair and letting her boyfriend be all sweet and considerate right in front of me. Well, fifteen feet-ish right in front of me. There she was warm in that cotton-wool blend, being loved, and she probably remembers every word whichever pastor spoke had to say and she probably didn’t even need to bring her Bible because she’s got at least all of the New Testament memorized.

Her and her damn shiny hair.

And it’s not just her that’s done me wrong these last few days, it’s hand-in-hand neighbors, stroller-pushers, fancily-attired diners paired off like they’re on a candle-lit Noah’s Ark… two by two by two by two.
Oh, and the radio.  Damn the radio.  Where are the upbeat songs about salad? or soft baby bunnies? or Switzerland?
Be it twangy or folksy or rap-infused, seems to be three and half minutes of love or sex or worse… both, on a never-ending loop.
…and really all I could use right now is a song about nothing but sunshine and tiny animals and nothing.

Because, and the cat’s already been loosed out of the internet-bag by some well-meaning well wishers… I got my heart broke.

And I’m not okay, and it’s not okay, and broken hope is never okay.
And I’m not alone, and I’m not unique, and ultimately it will be okay.

Somewhere inside something so special, the pressure to love was too much for one of us.

And here I am hurt, and broken, and exhausted.
And I’m not alone, and I’m not unique, and ultimately it will be okay.


All I’ve ever wanted to do was love BIG. love LOUD. love like CRAZY.
(whispers… and all I’ve ever wanted was to be loved BIG. be loved LOUD. be loved like crazy.)
So when the love you want isn’t there, and it’s not there because of the way you love, because the way you love is too much…
It crushes you.

So you wheel out a barrow of tape & glue & thread, and you get busy pulling out the words of best friends, and the prayers of ones who’ve walked farther through darker darkness, and the hope wrapped up in other people’s dried bouquets and freezer burnt wedding cake and matching gold bands, and you kind of mash up this blanket to wrap up in, or hide under.

We broke up on my birthday.  The day I’d weeks before squeezed my eyes shut tight and thanked God for.  Suddenly the big 2-9 wasn’t so scary, because the leap into the chapter I’ve always shuddered at wasn’t being written alone anymore.  There he was to shop the farmer’s market with and softly kiss (and not-so-softly kiss) and dream with and laugh with and maybe-one-day-when-I-was-enough love with.

But I, true to form, leapt when I should’ve tip-toed.

So after a conversation dissolving in choked back tears on my end and silence on his, with a big, fat, thick cloud of ache sitting squarely on my shoulders, and chest, and back, I got in the shower to scrub all the red out of my face.  Dried off, buttoned-up, and on the road home for a fancy dinner to celebrate a new year of my life.

Happy Birthday.

And there that fat cloud sat, pressing in and pressing on… a fog the serrated cake knife couldn’t have sawed through.

And I’m not alone, and I’m not unique, and ultimately it will be okay.

The next day, with eyes almost sealed shut, I woke up to sunshine… and another party on the docket.
All I wanted was to stay under the covers with the lights off and water what was rotting.

Albeit cracked, but curled & cuffed, I sat for hours under rustling leaves with loves all around me … there was sugar in our tummies and even sweeter giggles in the air, flowers & thoughtful gifts & penned cards I read later, alone, that called out the hurt, but stayed thankful for the life. My life.

And life is for the living, not the rotting.

Before our perfect picnic, I wasted a few frozen minutes wandering aimlessly through a gift store nearby, thumbing through the love-laden cards I’d already sent him and the ones I never will.  I rounded the corner to a shelf of oddities and jammed a prismatic kid’s kaleidoscope firmly against my right eye.

I stood, very much an adult, with a child’s toy smushed into my face, facing the sun.

And as I stood toward their glass doors, the bits of glitter and shards of sparkle gently, slowly, passed over the lens.
Explosions of color and shape and pattern lazily formed and fell away and regrouped anew… new colors, new shapes, new patterns.

Tiny bits.

Where would the glory be in one full marble passing by the eye-piece?

…one intact blue marble rolling around sure wouldn’t create a handheld fireworks show. Would it?

Stained glass without pieces is just, well, a window.
A mosaic with one tile is more the bathroom floor than a work of art.

Well. Whaddya know?
In a corner gift shop on what should have been a day full of everything that makes the heart full, my heart was broken.
Into tiny bits.

Tiny bits and pieces, and nothing anywhere near whole.

And I’m not alone, and I’m not unique, and ultimately it will be okay.

But while I’m not alone… maybe those little sharp shards are unique… unique to me & my story, just like yours are to you & your story.

What if ‘whole’ wasn’t the point? If ‘happy’ wasn’t the glorious little light show?

Maybe all of our broken parts, and hurts big and small, all of our fallen-apart-hopes, and pains keep gently & slowly passing over the lens of how God sees our life.

Still beautiful.
More beautiful.

When the sun shines through us and the world spins us around, there we are, a handheld fireworks show, much more full & spectacular to behold because we’re in a million pieces, we are each a million different stories, maybe we’re not meant to be whole.




Maybe not whole, but being held together.
Being held together, and maybe becoming something beautiful.

You are not alone. You are unique. And ultimately… it will be okay.


2 Responses

  1. You are an excellent writer and, it will be okay.

  2. You aren’t alone. I can relate. You are unique though. And God has given you an ability to share your unique story with others in a powerful way so they too can reflect on their stories and realize life is okay. Thank you for this.

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