The thing I noticed first in this week’s picture of the little girl was the poverty that surrounded her. But looking more closely at her face and her body language, it was obvious she was looking for something. And I’ve been looking for something, too.
Now it seems rather trite to compare my life in any way to hers, but that’s what the prompt is asking us to do. And in truth, I CAN see a bit of my own seeking in her face as she goes about her life day to day. Maybe that’s because I’m searching for useful, recyclable stuff, too, though I may be looking in my soul’s heart cave rather than a city dump. My poverty is of a different kind.
That bag the young lady is dragging behind her? I have one very much like it. It’s a bit ripped and torn from being tugged along behind me for the last 25 yeas or so. In fact, some of the “finds” I’ve reclaimed from the “dig” in my cave have a way of falling out the worn places in the bottom and I have to find them all over again!
“So what are they?” you ask. They’re bits and pieces of me! As I’ve carried out my work of spelunking in my cave, I’ve learned a lot about myself I didn’t know or was afraid to admit. And each “artifact” I’ve found has gone in the bag. You’re probably wondering what in the world I intend to do with all those “antiquities.” Well I suppose I’m doing pretty much what our young lady is. I go through my bag on a regular basis, take each “find” out and study it for a while. Then my job is to learn to love those broken off parts of myself and reclaim them as my own. That’s the whole point of spelunking.
The idea of learning to love myself for who I am was the departure point for my journey. I was tired of feeling like I was a failure. I wanted to collect all those disintegrating parts that were me and put them all back together. Oh, I know in the end there are going to be cracks in places where I’ve glued, but I think Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem is worth remembering when he says,
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
And that makes me happy because when the light gets in, it can also shine out! And being a light in the darkness for someone else is one of the greatest things any of us can be. Cracks and all…