She says she met Jesus over a white bread sandwich. Salvation all wrapped up in peanut butter and Fluffernutter and I wonder if tasted different for the meeting. If the bread melted on her tongue and the sweet nutty flavors became like honey in her mouth.
In the first two chapters of her book Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places, L.L. Barkat talks about Conversion and Shame and she has me wondering how knowing Christ has changed my life.
What does it really mean when I accept His body into mine and we become one? When His blood swirls into mine and beats through this heart how am I changed?
Dictionary.com tells me that the word conversion means to change in character, form, or function. Or a change of attitude, emotion, or viewpoint from one of indifference, disbelief, or antagonism to one of acceptance, faith, or enthusiastic support, esp. such a change in a person’s religion.
I remember the day I was baptized. I was 27 years old and out to here pregnant with my first child. I had known Jesus all my life but shame had kept me from committing to Him. Fear kept me from saying Yes to the Bridegroom and living happily ever after.
I thought I wasn’t good enough.
What aspects of the Christian story might seem like a fairy tale?
L.L. Barkat asks that question after sharing the tale of her own beginnings. How, after sinking teeth into that white bread sandwich, hard things came.
The first two chapters are lovely, but sad, I tell her, after re-reading. It’s been a while since I visited this story. I see parts of mine in it.
Well, there has been something of a happy ending, she says.
And I smile because, yes, she is a happy ending. And even though her story is still being written, those dark parts in her beginning seem to have made her strong.
I used to think the same about me. I thought adversity had toughened my skin…the way a tree does when it is wounded.
That’s the way a tree heals after an injury—like skin. After trauma, the tree closes itself up around the wound, compartmentalizes the damaged area–almost like a scab. Knots form on the grainy surface where the wound was—scars. By redirecting the cell growth of the bark around the injury—and successfully covering the abrasion, the tree is able to continue providing needed nutrients above and below the site of insult.
Trouble is, the wound leaves the tree susceptible to disease, insects, and decay.
I’m glad God delights to make things right, to cover our shame so we can stop trying to cover it ourselves. (L.L. Barkat, Stone Crossings)
When I read these words, I put the book down. I walk over to the window. The night is luminescent—white below, white above…starlight has fallen into snow. I rub my hands over the gnarly bumps on my heart…feel the knotty scars.
Is this the difference? Is this what you live inside of me to do, Jesus?
I feel the swirling, flow of Spirit. Healing. Healing. Not covering the wounds, but healing.
And I know that—for me–conversion is a journey.