a flower in the city

“mazzy, can you draw a picture of a tree?” 

her hair is sprayed into a blonde cloud and if you ask me, i think her heels are a bit high for an IQ test administrator, but no one is asking me.  she’s asking mazzy.  we’re here and we’ve been here before.  a test to make sure she falls far below everyone else.

“good thinking, mazzy!”

sunlight is pouring in from behind the coat rack, reassuring me that hope is just outside in case i need it.  that’s good because i’m a bit short on hope these past few days. everything good is hanging out just beyond my reach.

i have a lot of band-aids.

i change the wounds and i put fresh ones on each day and yet, no healing.  it’s tempting to believe no real change can come about in my life.  hope can seep out and through until i’m surrounded by all my soiled bandages and despair seems the only thing, the most real thing.

this meeting, these filing cabinets and the standardized forms seems a band-aid to me. when a child can’t follow in a single-file line through the prescribed systems they call in the really nice lady to read the script and she administers a test.

it’s times like these i disagree with those who tell me “all children have special needs.” it’s meant as comfort in this great equalizing age where when we boil things down to their essence and everything is pretty much the same.

i have a long list of wrongs.  wrongs done to me, to my daughter.  and they can mirage into freshwater when they’re really quicksand.  i can spend so much energy trying to bandage myself up and at the end of the day, i’m back licking my wounds.

we leave the meeting and i drive around the city of detroit.  the exterior matching the interior of the human heart.  important places falling down, buildings being repaired in stages, division and hatred.  hope and effort.  the raw heart beauty of the city.

later when i’m at home and i read these words, i am surprised by hope once again.  and relief floods me up and out of the quick sand.

“we tend to believe that our victimization problem
is deeper than our sin problem and the truth is that there
is nothing deeper than our own sinfulness.”  –  edward t. welch

my deepest problem is my sin problem.

it’s odd that i find hope once i stare into the face of the hardest truths.  god on a cross though he did nothing wrong.  a city forsaken, a place left to itself because of a legacy of racism and division.

why are the seeds planted where i least expect them?  why do i spend so much time looking everywhere else besides the source?

so i’m a sinner.

that’s the big conclusion today.  that all of the problems of the world and in my past and in my present and in the future aren’t much compared to this biggest problem.

my sin and its cure.

the man eating dinner in the upper room with his twelve students.  the man preparing to be the passover lamb for the sins of this world and for this woman.  the man carrying his cross to the good friday that i remember for a reason.

i remember because i need him. i need his death more than the very real band-aids that i apply daily.  the band-aids that never do more than cover up all my unhealed wounds.

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