It was a day already tainted with stress and disappointment. Now, I cannot even remember the whys. But I remember the dejection and apathy I felt.
It’s what brought me to their house – walls filled with four adopted brothers. My friends in college who stood beside me and loved Jesus and loved my imperfections like He did. I went to their house just to be. To cheer up from a tired day.
This day, in this house where an upstairs, open hallway overlooks the downstairs living room (think loft almost) I decided I wanted to be brave. Correction…I wanted to prove something to myself.
Or maybe my boredom of the day left me with merely wanting to prove something.
Wanting to feel.
I had flippantly suggested to my friends that they should one day, pile mattresses at the bottom of their living room and just jump from balcony to floor. It would be fun and it was only about 15 feet to drop. If that.
“We do that anyway! But we don’t need mattresses.”
“That’s crazy! What?” I stood at the bottom, looking up, wondering how they didn’t hurt themselves.
Then the words that still ring in my head to this day: “It’s easy, you just dangle and then drop.”
So alluring to a girl who wanted to do something on a day needing adventure.
“Really??” I mused.
One by one, the guys explained how easy it was. How they’ve all done it. You just hang on to the railing, cast your legs over until you’re hanging straight down, then you only have 3 feet or so just to softly drop to the floor below. Simple. One of the guys even did it right then, showing me just how effortless it was.
I thought: that’s not so hard. I can do that. Well, if guys can do it, I sure can.
So do it is what I did.
Only, I didn’t really dangle.
I just dropped.
15 feet below
arms buckling, slipping instant as soon as my legs tossed over
I tossed down, one flailing heap.
Turns out I couldn’t do what the boys could do. I lacked a certain….upper body. Or grace. Or who knows.
But I gained one thing from that experience. A new first.
Minor, but the job was done. Scaphoid snapped and ego bruised and the day still ended in dejection.
I laughed it off. My poor friends felt responsible and I repeatedly assured them they had no blame. I was a big girl who made an independent choice and that is all.
I think back to that often.
Face it, it’s a funny story we all share.
The time Leigh fell off a balcony.
(Though when I say fall, I’m immediately reminded “no, you jumped”.)
We all laugh because it’s pretty silly.
Yet the symbolism of stepping forward to do something – because if you don’t do something, anything – you feel as if you’ll scatter everywhere at once and be lost to the confusion.
I think of how that carries over to life still.
To having an idea of what I think I want. I think “sure, I can do that. Maybe?”
“I can write…?” “I can do that job….?” “I can contribute to that cause…?”
“I can write…..I can live that passion…maybe??”
And then what if I go beyond those musings and cast limbs over into it and s n a p
I don’t know if I would find the funny again.
I would probably just find the hurt.
The fracture of dream and strength.
Feelings worse than just one bad day.
Accumulating from dreams gone sour, hopes splintered
how do you rehab an aspiring life tumbled?
But on a day such as this day – back to today – how can I end in the hopeless unknown when I know what happened because of a Friday’s finish on a hill of skulls so long ago?
It’s a good Friday. We call it good. Because of the brokenness that endured.
Because of the healing that conquered.
Brokenness of hearts had to happen. All without one bone of His having to break. (John 19:36, Psalm 34:20)
He was able to graft a people to Himself. A rehab of souls.
That is at truth that will bring me my better view. Even if hopes deflate. Even if my limbs fail me, strength never showing up to save me from pain. Because I know what did save me. What does every day. Through dashed dreams and splintered hearts – I am made new each day. Healed whole and lacking nothing.
A Friday showing what happens to broken people. They heal.
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