Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mary is perched there like the Walm*rt greeter, the first person you see when the elevator doors open.

All similarities stop with her location. She isn’t handing out smiles or stickers perched upon a stool. It is more of an empty, hollow gaze that pierces back from a reclining chair.

An uncomfortable gaze it is. Not because she makes it so but rather because I take it as the bitter drink of this place. Gratefully, she doesn’t speak, at least not much more than an incessant chorus of “yoyoyoyoyo”.

Weakly, I smile as I quickly walk by. Out of the corner of my eye, I see what flashes for a brief moment in her stare, a glimmer of hope. As briskly as I pass, it fades from her eyes.

Expressive aphasia causes this one the difficulty of sharing her needs. It has stolen from her the ability to communicate with ease and understanding. In her, I see my reflection.

While I still have this gift of gab, I have of late been unable to give voice to that which lies within me. This affliction of mine is not physical. Sadly, I fear that would be easier to accept. For now, I am stuck wondering.

Do others see in my gaze emptiness? Maybe a fleeting glimmer of hope? Do others pass me by because I can say no more than "memememe”?

How do I articulate in words that which has hidden so deep within me?

Others have memories – I do not. Others have reasons – I can’t think of any. Others have excuses – I could make some up.

What I do have is feeling that something isn’t right. I feel defeated by an enemy I cannot verbalize.

Shame is a prevailing sense of worthlessness that leads to the false belief I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless.
Robert S. McGee, The Search for Significance

My truth doesn’t reside in this brokenness.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians 1:11 The Message

My truth is found in The Truth – Christ. There is no confusion and shame in His presence. It is grace – amazing and abundant.

Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
Philippians 4:23 The Message

It is there in the depths that healing grace meets my shame. Truth is restored and a voice is regained by the touch of One who cares.

As I prepare to leave, she is still there waiting. I start to pass by but I stop instead. I kneel down and touch her arm. “Mary, how are you today?” She smiles and with great effort haltingly speaks, “I am well, thank you.” With that, her hand covers mine. Her eyes no longer empty but shine back gratefulness. As I stand and turn toward the elevator, I smile back knowingly.

Grace reflects back grace.



  1. As the song says, "There's no other word for grace, but AMAZING".

    Father help me to be a true reflection to someone in need of grace today.

    Blessings - Lisa

  2. It just takes a spark....


  3. I felt invisible ... just yesterday while in the midst of the senior breakfast given in honor of our sons/daughters. I've always felt like an outsider at the kids' school. Our family doesn't fit the "mold" of the others. Still and yet, I contributed my milk/juice for the occasion and dispensed the cups accordingly.

    I sat alone, watching my son sit with the other seniors, enjoying this milestone ... in part, without me. I was an onlooker, and felt the strange and harsh pull of emotions. It would have been lovely to have someone reach out, touch my arm, and notice my pain.

    How grateful I am for my Father who never fails to comfort, even when others fail to notice.

    You are a good heart, Denise. I think there is a part of me that understands your struggle. I've felt the inaudible articulations of a restless soul on so many occasions. I'm thinking of you today.


  4. So beautiful and so true! Sometimes just a smile will be the one gift that lifts the burdens of the day...

    Be blessed, dear Denise

  5. I could've written this. sometimes words cannot express that which longs to be expressed.

    my pause here has given me much to reflect on...may I reflect grace as a result.