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In Vita, the monks record her entering the monastery of St Disibod ‘in order to be buried with Christ and with him rise to immortality.’
– Hildegard of Bingen by Fiona Maddocks
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“Why do you have these cuts on your hands? Oh, there’s more…”
M said the other day. He observed my hands closely on that day, and saw the fading scars still visible on my hands. And I didn’t know how to answer him.
On that night I gained these scars, I was at the school campus. It’s a place I used to call “The central park” because the name of the school was The Central Middle School. I liked the idea of having some association of New York City. The school was just two blocks away from the little cottage I was living in and I used to go there almost everyday to meditate, to get some fresh air, and to relieve the pain in my heart and mind.
It was a cold November night, I think. Just 5 months after I got off my anti-depressant by my will. It was a very hard year, especially that late fall and winter. Freshly divorced, freshly off meds, and freshly Christian with a new job at the coffee shop, I was as confused as I could ever be. I was so off balance during those days that panic attacks were my regular regime. I cried 80 percent of the times, and it seemed going into work and finishing my shift would take a miracle. I found myself caving into my dark, cold cottage alone, and burying myself under the thick blanket more and more. There were days when I wouldn’t get out of bed, all day. I had no one to check on me, no one to visit me. I was left alone, abandoned, just the way my destructive mind ordered.
Then it all built up to reach the climax one night. My suicidal urge was way too strong that night. I jumped out of bed, and crashed in the living room in front of the wall where I had three crosses hanging. I was rocking my body, trembling in fear and extreme anxiety. It was about 10 o’clock at night. I stayed in that position for a while, while my mind was quickly making its way to the dark kitchen where I had knives hidden in my cabinet somewhere. Which one? My mind was asking. I was trying to choose which knife I was going to use. Then, that thought really scared me and I was genuinely worried for myself. I embraced the brutal late November wind, and started running in my pajamas. I ran all the way to the Central Park, and when I was finally out of my breath, I passed out under a tree. I rolled my face to the side. My tears were falling to the ground, wetting the soil. There, I saw a few branches lying around the ground. I picked up the one that looked the sharpest. With that, I started cutting myself until I was satisfied. I did that until I could feel physical pain, enough to relieve the pain I was feeling in my head. Then I was calm again. I stayed there for an hour before I made my way back to the house.
So those were the scars he was asking about. And I did not know how to answer him. It really wasn’t that hard to tell him. He already knew about my bipolar history. I told him on the first day we met at a local restaurant. I had nothing to hide. Many times, my bipolar history became my way of self-defense. Guys left me alone. They didn’t want to deal with my bipolar baggage. And here I was, hesitating, maybe for the first time about being honest about the scars on my hands. I was afraid that I would freak him out. Maybe this will really make him think that I am crazy, and damaged. And I realized, that I did not want to take a risk of damaging the connection I have with him. But I could not lie. I told him that those were the scars that I have inflicted upon myself.
“Really? I can’t imagine you doing that…”
He responded without hiding his surprise.
“I know. But I did. I was very unhappy. I was very suicidal at one point of my life. My world was dark, and I was in so much pain because I did not have God in my heart. Now I do. I don’t even recognize that person as myself anymore. Before I met Jesus, I was a wondering soul trapped in my dark, confused, and chaotic mind. Then when I found Him, I found all the answers to the questions that had been tormenting me. I have found my final home in Him. And so, I am at peace now, because of the peace that comes from Jesus. I am at home, and I won’t ever cut myself again. But I did once. Because I did not know any better.”
After my testimony of Him, it no longer mattered if M thoughts I was crazy or not. What matters is bringing Jesus’ light to every soul that belongs to God. What matters is to testify the Love and miracles of Jesus despite the fear of rejection and ridicule. What if he thinks I am crazy? What if he think I am still dangerous to my life and a potential danger to complicate his life as well? His opinion of me does not matter. What really matters is whether I acknowledged Jesus when I had a chance. For His light must shine at any cost and opportunity.
The great story of being buried with Christ and rising to immortality has been circulating throughout the history of mankind, and I am only a tiny fraction of the entire picture. I don’t try to become a bigger part. But I would never be less than the eternal light that I have become by the Grace and Love Jesus has for me. I would never hide the Love of Jesus for the mankind from anyone, and for any reason.