The sound of a single strum fills the sanctuary, and she covers these walls with the soft roof of an old hymn. The words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” flow from her lips with ease, but they must pry and jimmy their way into my heart. She reaches “Oh what needless pain to bear,” and I am stirring and shifting, uncomfortable with my own familiar tears that knock at the door of my closed eyelids.
Her voice is both raw and gentle, the perfect touch to the open wound of a still-bleeding heart. But these words peel back skin and draw my eyes to see the depth of the cut, and I cannot look away.
My head finds rest in its home, wedged safely between two gripping hands. The church floor supports my fallen knees that hold my collapsed elbows that house my dropped head. This wound is gaping and heart blood quickly takes on the form of wet tears.
The song is long over but I am completely still, head bowed with knees to the floor. My body is frozen in this new fetal position, the safest posture for minimizing further affliction, the most comfortable stance for preparing to know life and light.
Silence wraps its arms around me as the people of the church bow to pray. The floor supports their fallen knees that hold their collapsed elbows that house their dropped heads. Together we assume our most primal way of being, this fetal position, this posture of prayer. Through prayer, all of these broken hearts, begging for a gentle touch to stop the bleeding, prepare to know Life and to rise to face the Light.