I’m in the midst of a five-month course in Uganda. Lots of things are churning through my mind, lots of things are being wrestled out of my heart. I’ve not yet had the processing space or desire to turn those things into writing for this blog.
Looking back at things I wrote in 2014, when I was first waking up to the reality of the Fatherhood of God, makes me so grateful for how far I’ve come since then. (Although there’s still quite a bit of road ahead!)
When I was working as a shampoo girl at a retirement home in Canada, I found in one of our clients a mirror image of my own ‘victim’ heart. Over two years later, I can say that the inner victim is slowly starving into a skeleton, and the identity of being a daughter of God is taking over.
Here’s the story, from February 2014:
“What is going to happen to me? Someone tell me what is going to happen!”
She trembles in her wheelchair. She’s so thin, I think, a puff of wind would carry her away.
Clutching her armrests, inhaling each nervous breath from an oxygen tube, scanning the room with piercingly sharp eyes: this elderly woman is terrified. She is here for a haircut. In full defense mode, she begs to have the procedure ahead of her fully explained.
I see myself in her. Don’t I beg my Father to show me every detail of what will come, don’t I crave that knowledge and refuse to surrender without it?
She keeps up this running commentary. It weaves in and out of the other conversations in the hair salon. “I’m scared….I’m worried….oh, I’m in such pain…Yes, I trust God! Don’t I always cry to Him for help?…but I still hurt…oh, I’m so scared.” The music of her heart sounds like a dirge.
The frail, old woman moans in her wheelchair – and I, I see myself in her.
I see myself there too. I always cast myself in the role of Victim in the drama of life – and the mask becomes my very identity. Yes, yes, I know God, I trust Him as much as anyone can in my situation – because, look! Don’t you see all the hurt I’m in? I still hurt. How often has that been the unspoken complaint of my heart?
Unnerving, the accuracy of this mirror.
The clippers and scissors have done wonders. Her gray bush is trimmed into something neat and manageable. Now she has to move into another wheelchair to have her hair shampooed.
“I don’t think I can do this!” She says it cautiously, then repeats it, and it soon swells to a cry of terror. “I can’t do this!”
“You don’t have to do a thing,” the hairdresser tells her gently, “the nurses will do it all.”
She hears, but registers no comprehension – “I can’t do this!” She cries again.
Once again I am reflected in this mirror.
Jesus changes things, shifting my security, asking for control of everything and I protest – “I can’t do this!” Gently the reply comes, “you don’t have to do a thing. I’ll do it all.” I hear the whisper, but my heart rebels against trust.
Repeatedly, the hairdresser asks my mirror-woman to relax her head back over the sink, to take a deep breath and calm herself, to simply enjoy the head massage. She won’t.
Do I relax into the new and strange situations my Abba places me in? Do I let Him have His way?
She asks permission to sit up again, she demands that the shampooing stop –
Don’t we all just want control?
And yet all the hairdresser was doing was making this woman beautiful.
I, too, am gripped with the craze of control-lust. Nothing frightens me more than the unknown.
Faced with myself, I know of only One whom I can turn to – Jesus, my pursuing Lover, my protective elder brother, my gentle Shepherd, my selfless Saviour –
By grace I choose to trust You. I don’t know what You’re up to, I don’t know what You’re doing. But You know. That’s enough for me.
So take everything away. Burn on the altar all I hold dear. Give me eyes for Your face of love alone. I am no victim. I am a beloved daughter in the King’s salon – and He is making me beautiful. I trust Him completely.