Neat Horizontal Rows, Each Carved With Care

I wrote this only a few moments ago after a counselling session with a young lady of 26 who had begun coming to my church. I share this so that we may know that there is much that we who minister must learn to bear and that there is much for us to do  I am not just speaking about pastors, but all who call ourselves Christ followers.

Neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
Each a testament of pain screaming silent
Neat horizontal rows, peeking
Peeking through sleeves too long
Too long for a hot summer day
Rolled up just enough in response
Not too high least some might see
Neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
Too late!
I see them there, everything changes
Yes the smile is plastic, the laughter forced
Then suddenly bursting forth
Dark and terrible pain
Hopeless loneliness in silent wail, rising
Rising in neat horizontal rows carved with care
How much blood mingled with tears
Amidst silent sobs flow there between
Neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
There, there! There the desperation
Veiled behind painted eyes
See! See! See the tremor behind smiling lips
Betraying the terrible sorrow behind
Behind painted lips
Neat horizontal rows now carved within my heart
Tearing at my soul rending
Rending the lie
Do I reach out? Dare I pull back
Pull back sleeves too long
Too long for a hot summer day
Dare I touch
Touch neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
On ivory skin, white canvas
White canvas marred by pain
Too late!
She sees my gaze affixed
Affixed on neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
Hands with haste push back
Push back the folds
Folds of sleeves too long for a hot summer day
Smile melts, laughter cease, panic rise
Rise in painted eyes, on painted lips
Recoiling, ready to flee
My hand stays her, peeling back
Peeling back sleeves too long for a Summer day
My fingers trace
Trace neat horizontal rows, each carved with care
Muscles tense pulling back yet
Yet her hand grasp mine desperately clinging
Locked in quaking silent storm
Should I speak? Words breaking storm
Yet, what words?
What words? What words? What words!!
Too trite, too simple, too overused
Yet they persist, straining, straining
Straining to burst forth
"Jesus knows, He knows, and He loves you!"
Gushing forth, spilling out uncontrolled
Running, running
Running like soothing balm
Soothing balm over alabaster skin
Over angry red welts
Tween horizontal rows, each carved with care
The dam breaks, the mask melts
Tears flow bursting forth as walls crumble
Grip tightens bringing pain
Pain from one so frail and small
Pain released, pain expressed, pain offered
Pain that I must bear, I must accept
I must bear, so fix I
Fix I on horizontal rows, each carved with care
Time passes, grip loosens, tears subside
We talk, "This cut, this first cut ... when I was 12"
"Daddy left ...."
So the journey begins through each horizontal row
Each carved with care.

Joyce Bethy Ferguson @bethy ·

I realised I have been holding my breath as I read this.

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

I have known a couple of young women who battled this but at the same time, as I read this I thought about the carefully concealed wounds within the Body of Christ as well. We are afraid of what people will say and the sad thing is... often we have good reason to be afraid. Perhaps we will say the right words to the wounded but they are able to look past that and see our pride... our smugness that we are "not like them". The problem is... often we are, it's just that we refuse to take off our mask or roll up our sleeves. :cry:

May we be like a healing balm to the wounded and oppressed.


K :princess:

Christopher Quek @arisensleeper ·

I wrote this as a way of dealing with the raw emotions of the encounter but also as a reminder to myself that there is much brokenness in this world. k:princess: is right there are also many concealed wounds within the Body of Christ. Sadly, our current age is self-absorbed and materialistic unable to look beyond the confines of their own happiness, comfort, and well being. This is true of the secular world as it is of the Church. My own brokenness did not hit me till I arrived in the comfort of my own home and the contrast between the cocoon of my life and the suffering, agony, hurt, loneliness, and hopelessness that I encountered just a few hours ago fell me like a sledge hammer. If we truly desire the heart of Christ, then it would include His sorrowing heart and unless that heart is evident we will still have miles to go.

Do not include honorifics.

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