It’s been years since the sharp blade cut open her heart, since her pain stained her perception of all things. It’s been years, and life has continued, breathing in, breathing out.
It’s exhausting work, this breathing in and breathing out while intentionally chewing on the venom that builds scar tissue day by day. But this is her ammunition against love, her protection against pain. It’s the armour she purposefully puts on every morning.
She is a bitter old woman when I meet her, and my heart leaps towards her, but the carefully constructed armour keeps me clearly at bay.
And I watch as the scar tissue grows thicker every day, creeping up all the way to her throat. It threatens to kill her, but it is still her safety net–ammunition against love, protection against pain.
The Shepherd in me, He is relentless, outrageous, thickheaded in His pursuit of her. So I let Him take the lead. He is the hand, and I am the glove, moving at the rhythm of His love.
I believe His love through me to be a powerful ointment against her chosen venom, so I show up. I show up when the armour is impenetrable because the Shepherd shows up. I show up day in and day out, choosing to look past the venom, because the Shepherd shows up day in and day out, choosing to look past the venom. Day in and day out, the Shepherd with skin and bones.
Eventually, the Shepherd’s love creates a minuscule crack in the armour, and He skillfully reaches His hand through the scars into the very heart of her. He breathes life into her, gently rubbing the scar thinner and thinner. And her heart, it begins to let go of the venom, and it swells with life, breathing in, breathing out.