'And to His leg I cling, eternally pressing my face to His calf to keep from looking behind me.'
I found this in the middle of my notebook in the middle of another night. I started scanning my recall to find the event that at one time had me spiritually in a heap on the floor, hiding behind the only sure and steady constant in my life........ God's enormous, extremely human looking leg. At least that's how I pictured it when I wrote the above. That, I remember. I remember how I felt and in what my soul found perseverance, safety, and comfort.
Let me explain.
When I was little, my visual personification of what God must've looked like took the shape of a huge bare foot firmly planted on Earth (in my backyard more specifically) with the robe draped leg extending up until just above his knee, where the clouds took over.
Where do you even begin to analyze this one?
Let's start here.....
Why my backyard?
It was where I was and I was taught that God was always with me. Easy enough.
Also, my backyard was the biggest thing I could imagine. There were still hedgerow boundaries (much like my mind at the time) but it was 'God-big'. After all, why would He have to be bigger than that?
Why just a foot? Why not the whole 'He' crouched between mom's garden and the playhouse Daddy built?
This one runs a little deeper and I'm not even sure I can find the answer. I could never imagine a whole 'He'. Just pieces, like a foot. It wasn't for lack of imagination! I could sit and play board games with the guy (I would roll the dice for His turns, of course.) And I never hesitated to whisper His name knowing full well that His ears were good enough to hear my voice even when I was really, really quiet. I grew up talking to Him as if he shared the Pepto-Bismol pink room with me, yet I could never bring myself to imagine more than the calf/ankle/ tootsies part any time I tried to put a picture to it all. I guess maybe it did hit the parameters of my imagination. (And yes, it was a foot on the other side of the game board with His leg extending through my ceiling. Why else do you think I had to roll for Him?)
Sadly, as an adult it doesn't seem my imagination has stretched much, does it?
The image of clinging to God ends there, at His leg, even if I try to picture more.
I've lived through.....well, 'I've lived through' is statement enough. And looking back at it all I can see that I've almost instinctively leaned on God for the majority of my life. It started as childhood faith; trust that what my parent's taught me was true. As a teen, when I tried to get away from anything my parents stood for I found myself running but always looking behind me to make sure God was keeping up. And now as an active Christian woman, the leg is my first refuge. Like I said, I feel it as an instinct. I consider it a unique gift. I don't meet many people who see God the way I do. (Except perhaps the writers of Monty Python :)
'Clinging to His leg' is only the first part of the statement, though.
I pressed my face to His calf to keep from looking behind me. Wow! In an action that mirrors a shaken woman holding tightly to her protector, hiding her face in his chest until the evil has gone, I realize.... I watch a lot of movies. Does this even happen?!? Usually, in reality when 'evil is nigh' people are clawing and fighting and running! Not clinging to another person in full faith that the wave of destruction is just going to stop at the sheer presence of this untouchable wall of a man, protecting the fragile clinging woman. Too many movies, it would seem. But don't miss this! I'm pressing my face to his calf to keep myself from looking behind me. I remember this, now!
I'm actively pushing my cheek, so much that my imagination can feel the pressure on my face, in an attempt to keep my head from turning where it continues to want to look; to my past!
I don't give much detail in these blog posts about how I used to live my life. But I'll break regular form for a minute and throw you a metaphorical glimpse. There was a time when it felt as if I had a genie in a bottle. Everything I had ever dreamed of having, I was given. But it was tainted and when I let God open my eyes to it I could see that it was no genie, that my dreams were vain and destructive, and that I had fallen so deeply into the trap, the time of escape was quickly passing me by. So I looked up from the bottom of this pit of self-indulgence and grabbed the rope that was almost out of my reach. God pulled me up and I'd like to say I haven't looked back since but obviously that's not true. Otherwise I wouldn't be curled up, cutting off the circulation to God's leg with the pressure of my turn-tempted head.
If I've ever been addicted to anything, it would be to 'me'.
Awww, poor little girl! Not drugs, alcohol or gambling! The poor thing is addicted to herself! Let's drop all these support groups and funding and focus on Crissy who is really in trouble!
Yeah, and that's the guilt that follows when I'm reminded of the superficial nature of my nature. But I'm cursed with constant introspection (or self-scrutiny if you really want to put a picture to it) and it's what I've figured out about myself. That, of course, being half the addiction!
It's a subtle sin. Not one anyone else would notice, when I have it under control, but only I know that I'm fighting. It's a lonely sin. It involves a universe in which I exist to perpetuate the existence of said universe. And I'm aware of it. Which, once again, is where 'the leg' comes into the scene. A self created universe can exist without God's presence only if He's not invited. (I'd use the analogy of 'A vampire can only enter your house if you invite him in' but it seems somehow vulgar, so I won't) So I invite Him and He stands between me and the wave of destruction that actually will stop at this untouchable wall of .....well, a foot....and protects the fragile clinging woman.
It's the story of my life...... that phrase I began this blog post with, and I stumbled upon it while randomly leafing through my notebook. It stood alone on the top of the page, waiting for me to find it when I needed it. That's the story of my life, too.