A Wall, A Glass, An Embrace

This is a poem I wrote, in honor of my dear friend and fellow childhood abuse survivor. It’s inspired by my friend’s description of her struggles with God. (And, of course, my own. I can’t help myself!) My friend, you know who you are. And I hope you know — somehow — that you are loved.



A Wall, A Glass, An Embrace

Your blindness is a wall
A wall between you and your God
It stands tall and formidable
There’s no seeing through

Or is there?

The thing is, this wall’s got so many flaws
It was made by the ones who hurt you
Brick by brick, with mortar to seal it off
It was laid by them

And do you know who their boss was, is?

You do, but not like you know the One who’s on the other side of the wall

This One you know, and this One knows you
On His side of the bricks are no bricks at all
On His side he sees the backs of those who trapped you in the first place
Backs, because they don’t dare look at Him

If they did, they’d die

So they don’t, but they make up that wall of blindness
And as far as you’re concerned, the bricks are there to stay
The wall is not something you built
And no one left a deconstruction plan

All you’ve got is a bulldozer

And somehow, you know the bulldozer isn’t yours to use
You can’t remember who exactly gave you the machine
But you know it wasn’t from Him
So when your friends suggest starting up that old machine, you look away

The bulldozer isn’t for you, not even to touch

So you’re sitting there, unable to see the One on the other side
Actually, you’re rocking yourself, your knees pressed to your chest
And you’re trying to remember exactly what that Someone looks like
You can almost make out His face in your mind

Well, not His face exactly
But something about him
Deep and awful
And good

Of course, I can’t pretend to be soaring above it all
Above you, above the wall, above God Himself

No, that would be folly itself

But I can sit with you
And speak what I think is true
Because I remember Him, too
In bits and pieces and in some wonderful thoughts

Since I remember Him, too
I’ll dare to add something to your picture
I’ll dare to guess what we’d both see if we could soar up
Up and up, above that wall and above God Himself

On the other side of that wall, here’s what I think we’d both see
(Forgive my boldness)

We’d both see God, we’d see Jesus
But Jesus wouldn’t be rocking on the floor
His knees would not be pressed into Himself
He’d be standing

He’d be standing, wide and open
He’d be busy at work
He’d be sculpting the backs of your abusers
Creating something beautiful on His side of the wall

He was a carpenter after all!

His hands are skilled
His mind is free
His heart is compassionate
Weeping for his child to see Him again

It’s strange, but Jesus’ tears don’t cloud his vision
They hang in his eyes, yes, but they are spectacles
Showing Him right into your heart
Intensifying everything about you that is of Him, like Him

So why is He smiling, too?

He must not be scared like we are
He must know the end of the story or something
He just looks so assured
So sure of Himself, like he has nothing to fear

So let’s sit down again on our side of the wall
Because He has whispered something into our hearts
He did it unawares, while we were busy gazing at Him
The message is simple and almost matter-of-fact

“Daughters, it’s time to sit down again.
It’ll be sweeter if you do.
Because when you see me once again through this wall,
You’ll see me clearly, as I am.”

“You’ll see me as I am, as your Brother,
As your Friend.
Because when you hover above me, above the wall,
Your view is through many clouds.”

“Because you shouldn’t be above me.
It’s not best for you.”

“But if you can sit, and trust
This wall will become like a glass.
So smooth and clean that you’ll almost forget it’s there.
And it will be a very easy walk to me when you die.”

“It’s like I’ll reach through,
Take your hand,
And my tears will finally fall.
And wash us both, us three…”

“…Back to where I was,
To where I am.
Standing there with you.”


I am a Texan-born Bostonian who wants to understand how we get through hard things in life (aka trauma) using spirituality, meaningful work, life-giving hobbies, connection with other trauma survivors, friendships with non-traumatized people, animals, etc. I am a hospice social worker (LCSW) and I have a bunny named Nadia.

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