A God For All Pieces
Short Story ~ A God For All Pieces
Forgiveness .... prologue
God has a way, if we are trying to live for Him, of getting us ready to do the things we ought to do, even when we don't realize we have this need. When I wrote the storiy of the sisters, I didn't realize at the time, God showed me later, it was a beginning of a process. I changed the sexual abuse in the story to child abuse by a mother, not really realizing what I was doing. When my grandfather died, I was 27 and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My sister and I flew to California for the funeral. My middle brother was still living there. My brother drove me to the store, then told me he was going to go to the hospital for a little while to visit my uncle. He was in the hospital dying of bone cancer. When I was 10, this uncle started making my life miserable. When I was in highschool I lost time. I'd be in one place, come to myself in another not knowing how I got there, or how long I'd been there. I thought I was going to end up in the looney bin. I wasn't a christian, but I believe that God, in love, takes care of us even when we don't know Him. The base where my step dad worked closed down and he was transferred to New Mexico. When I got away by moving, the blackouts stopped. I shoved this stuff away in the basement of my mind, thought I had it dealt with. I of course hadn't. Someone would tell me I had the prettiest brown eyes they'd ever seen, and I'd draw away from them, afraid they'd try to touch me. When we went to the hospital my brother left the room a few minutes. My uncle told me he was surprised I had come; that he knew I must hate him. I knew he wanted me to say I forgave him. This I couldn't manage. I told him I didn't hate him. This was true. I was numb where he was concerned, no feelings whatsoever. I was 6o yrs. old when I got saved. I didn't realize the need I had after all those years, but God did. He prepared me for healing. First there was the story about the sisters he gave me. Then one night when it was raining like it can in Ms., dark as can be, one of the women who lives down the street called me, said, Sis. Ruby, know you have night blindness, I have to pass your house anyway. Why don't I stop and pick you up? No argument from me. On the way home from Bible study, she pulled into the parking lot of the conveniece store across from the church, bought two cokes. Then she told me she felt lead to tell me a little about herself. After she got started, I thought, I don't need this junk. It was almost as if I could hear God talking. Yes, you do. She needs to tell it. You need to listen. I was thinking, an uncle was bad enough, but a father? Someone should have taken him out to the woods and hung him from the highest oak tree. I would have hated him with a passion.I would have hated him with my dying breath. And then,right as I'm thinking this, I hear, but he was my father and I loved him. Inside I was screaming, No, No , No. I was just sick. When I got home I went straight to my bedroom, shaken. I hadn't dealt. You don't deal by hiding things in dark rooms in the basement of your mind. God knows these hidden rooms need emptied out, flooded with light, pain or not. The pain has to finally be dealt with. I realized why God had her tell me her story. My uncle was dead and gone many years back. Even so, I had to forgive him, for my own sake. Do I still have remnants of this, yes. At times things pop up, but I know unforgiveness and bad feelings aren't from God and after many years, in love, he granted me healing. Sometimes, if you get a glimmer of hurt from days long gone, let God throw open those closed doors and bring refreshing. You'll be glad you did.
Love in Him,
A GOD FOR ALL PIECES
ISAIAH 30:14a---Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar, so ruthlessly shattered that a sherd shall not be found among it's pieces.
Zechariah 11:13---Then the Lord said to me,"Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them."
I hate it, hate being here; watching her lying there, hooked up to all those tubes. Of all of us, she's the last one this should have happened to, the least deserving of this; the only decent, half sane one of us sisters.
Lori, standing there with her smug, self-righeous expression. Oh, I know the air of concern is real. Sissy's the only one any of us love or care about. Me, Lori, Sami? We hate each other equally. Dear old mom, rotting away in the state nuthouse, which is really to good for her rotten soul? The day she dies I plan to throw the biggest celabration party this little hick town has ever been graced with.
Sami! Sami's the one I meant to be lying here, if, of couse, I was unfortunate enough to be faced with her survival. She's very allergic to demeral. I figured just a couple of tablets were all it would take, dropped them in the little witches drink, then sat back and waited.
Lori, with her little smug, know it all expression, her knowing eyes staring at me from the large mirror hanging on the living room wall; I had to make sure she kept her mouth shut. After all, her love for Sami was at least as lacking as mine. As I turned from warning Lori to keep her mouth shut, the contents of the glass were already disappearing down Sissy's throat. The reaction was swift, startling. Her system could no more tolerate the drug than our deserving little sister's could. Where I had intended to delay calling for help with Sami, though, We immediately got Sissy to the hospital.
He's here, the milquetoast. How Sissy ever got involved with him, I still haven't figured out. He comes in quietly, Bible in hand, walks over to her motionless form and starts praying. Lori closes her eyes. I poke her, Hard.She's as bad as Sissy where the milquetoast is concerned.
We three older sister's have, for as long as I can remember spied on each other. We have also made a habit of keeping tabs on our younger sister, Sissy. This last year, she's taken to frequenting, of all places, this small church just outside of town. One or more of us sisters go in and sit's down until she leaves the place.
Sami was born the original wildchild. No-one was as pretty, as talented, as worthy of all life has to offer as she. I couldn't be in her Royal Highness's prescence ten minutes without being ready to vomit. Lori was the original schitzoid personality; all the highs and lows of a major roller-coaster. I both loved and hated her passionately. Me? My name's Mara, and yes, I'm as bitter as my name implies. My life has been bitter as long as memories serve me. I'm the oldest of our mixed up group.
People on the outside think we are to be envied, that we have all life has to offer. We are the richest family around here. Each one of us has her own money, trust funds set up long ago by grandparents from both sides of the family, money given to us from both parents. Little they know that we grew up in the original hell on earth.
I'm six years old. I'm playing in the kitchen. Hungry, I'm so hungry. I pull a stool up to the kitchen sink, take a pan from the drain board, fill it with water, climb down. Into the fridge, potato, nice large one, left-over vegetables, left-over meat, perfect. Peel the potato, add the left-overs, put pan on the stove, turn on the burner. Humming, pull a chair close to the stove, sit and wait.
Loud scream. My blood runs cold. Moms "how could you do this to me, why can't you act like a decent child? Whatever did I do to deserve a brat like you?" scream. Hands on my shoulders, shaking me repeatedly; my head whipping back and forth so hard I'm afraid it'll fall off my neck. "For your own good," she screams, "This is for your own good." She drags me over to the stove, takes the pan off the burner, places my hand on the burner. Oh, God! the pain! It's excruciating.
Why do you make me do these thing, How many times have I told you fire is hot, dangerous? Why dfo you insist on my having to show you these thing? Do you like making me hurt you?
Over the years I learn to eat the pain, make it a dull, throbbing part of me that I can ignore. Even as a child, I think, "Mom, well I'll deal with her in time, also." Lori runs and hides as soon as she hears moms scream. She learns early the pain she'll endure if she doesn't. Once, when she was seven, mom caught her smoking. To teach her a lesson she wouldn't soon forget, mom burnt her on the bottom of her foot repeatedly with the burning cigarette. We all, at one time or another made mom have to hurt us. Sissy, well, all of us are protective of her. More than once, one of us has taken the blame for something Sissy has done. We know she hasn't the strength that any of us has. Even "HER Royal Highness", Sami, would lay down her worthless life for Sissy.
It took awhile for us girls to learn that we weren't totally worthless and deserving of all the hell that mom and life could bestow upon us.
I learned in school that I was reasonably smart, talented. I loved to draw, loved ceramics. Learned not to give anything that I made to mom. No matter how well liked it was, she considered it made by a first class imbecile. Funny. No matter what my mom did to me, some part of me wanted her approval. Craxy, huh?
Sami was popular, well liked by the incrowd. She was on the cheer leading squad, sang with the school music choral, was outgoing, vivacious.
Lori was smart, studious. At times she was shy, demure, then she was upbeat, the life of the party. One never knew what to expect of her.
All of us hid what we didn't want mom to find in Sissy's room. No wonder she had so many headaches. Clothes we knew mom would turn blue over, just knowing we had them, never mind that we wore them.
As we grew older, we grew less inclined to take the abuse from mom that we had grown up taking. It ended with Sami. Sami came home late from school from a school tryout for the drama club. Mom started screaming at her as she walked through the door. As she grabbed Sami's shoulders and started shaking her, Sami kicked out. Mom fell and lay quietly on the floor.
At the hospital, we were asked how long mom had been abusing prescription drugs and alcohol. I burst out laughing hysterically. I thought the only things she abused were kids. Mom was remanded to court and sentenced as an outpatient to the hospital rehab program. This humiliation was of course rotten, spoiled brat Sami's fault. I realised something from Sami's fighting back that I hadn't understood before. Abusers are bullies, and like bullies, aren't going to pick on those who can fight back, only on the weak and helpless. I resolved never again to be weak or helpless.
Over the years moms condition worsened. She was diagnosed with paranoia and her brother had her institutionalised. We were out of school and working in a small art museum that Sissy opened. None of us had to work, but we were used to keeping an eye on Sissy and life had conditioned us to spying on each other. Sissy still had her headaches, sometimes they lasted for days. She would lose whole chunks of time. With the museum to run, don't think she could have made it without us.
Any man I'm interested in, Sami ends up with. Says she can't help it if we want the same things. If thats true, I'm liable to end up human sushi which is what I'm wanting to happen to her.
About the time I'm thinking Lori is the sanest one of us, she does something to prove me wrong. At Sissy's grand opening for her art museum, Lori came dressed in a long black skirt and long sleeved black blouse with collar up to her chin. She had her hair pulled back with a black ribbon, horn rimmed glass's on her face, very demure, very lady like. Half way through the party, she put a slow tape on the boom box, climbed upon a table, started dancing. She was halfway undressed before a friend hauled her down and into a back room. Did poor Sissy any way but proud. Remember thinking, "hope we don't all end up in the looney bin with mom. There's a good possibility."
Not long after this, Sissy took to taking long walks during her headache episodes. Maybe, if she got tired enough, wore herself completely out, the pain would be easier to cope with. Trouble was, since one or more of us followed her to make sure she was alright, we ended up worn out also. Then, on one of these walks, she discovered it, this small church. What attracted her, I'll never understand. The concept of church or God had never been a part of our vocabulary, totally foreign, alien, out of our realm.
The first person there to befriend her was the milquetoast. Talked to her about a God who cared, really cared for all of us, His creation. To our horror, Sissy listened to this man, questioned him, read the Bible passages he gave her, became friends with some of the women in the church. She was changing. i could sense a hunger in her that I didn't recognise, didn't want to acknowledge.
Lori? Lori was going to be no help at all. Lori was absolutely besotted by the milquetoast. I had never known her to want anything but to torture and/or aggravate a man before. I was beginning to realise that the church was presenting a danger and problem for us all. Two of us were likely, if we stuck around much longer, to not want to leave it. In the midst of all this, darling Sami walked away with the love of my life. Just once too often, I think. Not getting mad this time, getting even. Going to solve this problem once and for all. Put her out of my misery, permenantly.
We watch as the milquetoast prays over Sissy. He's so gentle, so compassionate, and (this scares me) so loving.
"I know what happened." Sami's voice breaks into my thoughts.: SHH, I'm trying to listen to the milquetoast."
"He's not, you know. Time you quit calling him that. His names Stephen, and he's anything but weak and bland."
"Sami! Alright. I tried to murder your worthless hide. Seems to me, you dedicate a major part of your life to making me miserable. Did you really expect me not to notice?"
"Mara, You're really scared, and I don't mean of me. You're afraid Sissy's going to want this God she's/we've been hearing about. Like you keep saying about Lori, all she can think about lately , asleep, awake, eating, is Stephen, Stephen,Stephen. So you'll get no help from her corner."
"Think about it, Sami. Don't you have any idea what this could mean for us, the problems it could cause? Our existence is tenuous enough at times.
Lori.! What do you think you are doing? Get away from that bed and back over here with us at once."
"Want to pretend that you haven't heard the words preached from behind the pulpit in "that" church, Mara? Why do you think we hate each other so much? I'll tell you. It's because we each recognise in the other, the traits we hate so much in ourselves. Like may attract, but it can also repel. This church scares you to the core because it's shining a light on a lot of hidden, secret rooms inside of us, but, Mara, I really believe it'll be O.K. I believe the truth can set us free, like the preacher said. None of us has known much about God, but what I'm hearing? God's reaching out to us and I want to reach back.
Remember saying the one person I'd be willing , in spite of my selfishness to sacrifice for, was Sissy? I don't believe I'm the only one who would. I'd love for her to be whole, believe so would you and Lori. The Truth, The whole Truth, I believe we all grasped it the other night when the pastor preached about the potter. You/ve been running scared ever since. To a degree we all have; because we know that Sissy is going to recognise the Truth also. This God is going to show her.
Those scriptures keep running in my mind. (Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potters jar, so Ruthlessly SHattered that a sherd shall not be found among them.) Remember when we shattered, Mara? Sissy was so little, so helpless, so alone. Dad couldn't take mom's fits of rage and erratic behavior any longer, so he just cut out and left her alone. He'd been the only anchor Sissy had, her only chance of refuge.
Mom? She only got worse. The things she did to that poor child. The incredible abuse and torture she put her through. Maybe creatures like us, created by children's tortured minds are the original concepts of divide and conquer. but, back to us, Mara. I know you're scared.Think you don't want to die. But, Mara, we're just fragments, shattered pieces. God, Mara, He can take our pieces, mend us, make us whole. Don't you want to be whole, Mara? Oh God, I want to be whole.
God can put back the shattered pieces of her life. This is her chance, this God, all of our chance, to be one, truly one as He meant her to be. The chunks of her life that were missing, the embarrassment of copimg with strangers she couldn't remember ever having met, incidents she got blamed for, but couldn't remember because of us, the constant headaches----want them gone----want this for her, for us?---Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.---The thirty pieces of silver may not, to a lot of us, seem like much, but what it helped purchase? magnificence doesn't begin to cover it."
Sami, Lori. and I look at each other. We know it's coming. Through God's grace we will be totally, wholely one, healed and saved by the power of God.
"Well sleepyhead, It's about time you woke up. Thought you'd decided you were sleeping beauty. How are you feeling?"
"Don't know if you'd believe me if I told you. I've had the weirdest dreams. Crazy. In my sleep. I told God I wanted to give my life to Him in my sleep. believe it or not, I did. Give my life to Him, I mean. In my sleep., but for real. All the things you've told me about God? and the difference He makes in your Life? I want everything He has to offer. I'm going to count on you to tell me what "everything"is."
"Alright! Anything else? "
"Yes, breakfast. I'm starved. Don't understand it, but I seem to have developed a definite craving for milquetoast. "
Written by Ruby Haskins