Sitting around the table
clenching forks piled high
with bits of cream and raspberries
dripping off the tines,
and shared our
heart aches and prayer requests.
I wrote them down.
Then she said,
“Heidi, your name isn’t on there.”
“I know,” I smiled
and then I spilled my heart
all over the plates with pie crumbs
and glasses with ice cubes.
And, in that spilling over of my heart
I realized (again) that I don’t do people well.
There are so very many
people in my world
and I don’t know how to balance it all,
balance them all.
and I hear
“You are a failure.”
“You failed her.”
“You failed me.”
And those words stick
like burrs to my heart
until my heart is chaffed
and the sore penetrates my life.
Until I simply want to
gather my four and run to the woods
I was in high school when I first heard
the lie that I was responsible for someone else’s happiness,
“You must not have your small group of friends,
you must include everyone.
You hurt people’s feelings.
You are responsible for their happiness.”
Sometimes it’s not what people say
but what we hear that sticks like glue
and becomes the greatest lie
the enemy uses to cripple.
It was in the spilling of my heart
that I finally heard it as the lie it is…
a lie I’ve believed for thirty years.
After we prayed together,
I looked at the pie aftermath
of dirty dishes and crumbs scattered
and of my own heart spilled in the midst,
mingled with the heart spills of those around me.
A beautiful mess on a warm spring night.