Last week my teddy bear, a gift from my then-not-yet-husband, arrived safely back from the Vermont Teddy Bear hospital. His arm had come off from an awkward child’s hug, so the kids and I had sent him off a few weeks before. My son had watched a YouTube video about the bear hospital, wrote a letter for the bear doctors and nurses, included a picture of the kids for company, and e-mailed a prayer request to the church’s prayer chain.
After arriving home from errands one day, the blue and green box, with one end decently crushed, was sitting on our doorstep. I prayed that the bear was okay from the trip, as my son had worried enough already. The bear was fine, accompanied by a hospital bracelet. I did have to explain why he didn’t come home with the picture of the kids and a balloon.
Like the bear, part of myself was torn-off during the summer and I have been trying to put it back on. With God’s Help, I have been able to begin the journey of piecing myself back together. God’s Grace is working through others (those I know personally and those I know through the written word) to help me evaluate, conduct surgery, and undergo rehab.
And it is within this process that a Wise Woman brought this image to my attention:
As a child puts a special treasure in a box for safe keeping, we too, as children and adults, put special parts of ourselves into boxes, and hide them deep within ourselves. We protect those parts of us that we cherish, that we know are beautiful, that we know are precious, from whatever we feel may harm it.
As time passes, we may forget about that cherished part of ourselves, having stored it deep in our hearts. Or, it may just get so dusty that we forget how beautiful it is! The shine and gleam have dulled, and we can no longer see it’s truth.
God remembers and cherishes that part of ourselves, that part that we have hidden away. God created us, including those beautiful parts we have had to protect from others.
In this process, box I have hidden away has been crunched like my bear’s box. Shame has beaten up my treasure, as while trying to protect it, I kicked it around like those I was trying to protect it from. Hiding it wasn’t enough. I also had to see it as worthless in order to push it deep into the darkest part of my spirit.
I don’t know if my treasure in the box will ever shine, will ever be whole. Slowly, with God’s Hand working through those around me, the treasure inside is being dusted off and I am able to look at it with increasingly clear eyes.
I do know that in God’s eyes, it is and always has been, beautiful!
Gracious God, help us to see ourselves as You see us. We have found ways to cope, to survive, and often that has included denying even the treasures you have created within ourselves. Help us see, truly see, the full beauty you have created in us. Amen.