I’ve had a month of home repairs, the most recent of which is occurring right now, as I type. An electrician is replacing the ballast in our kitchen light, which was working sporadically. When he arrived, the light, of course, turned on instantly, rather than the typical on-off-on-off-on-off flicking of the wall switch which we often must do to make the light turn on.
It was an invisible brokenness. The tubes had been replaced. All the cosmetic work possible had already been done. But something was still broken inside. And when a stranger showed up, an expert, someone there to help, the brokenness wouldn’t reveal itself. It appeared whole, healthy, and hale (if a light fixture can be termed hale … it is elderly!) and turned on first try, every try. But deep inside, literally under metal parts that needed to be disassembled, it was still broken. The electrician needed to delve deep to find the broken parts, despite the light appearing to function properly in the moment.
Last night, I attended the Survivors Vigil, to be with people broken deep inside, myself included. I’d done the cosmetic work, not quite as easy as changing a light bulb. I’d talked about my rape with friends and therapists. I could comfortably talk about what happened publicly. I thought I was fixed. But last night, and all of the last week, something deep inside me revealed that I am still broken. It’s a hidden brokenness, something not seen easily, something unexpected and not welcomed.
I am reminded of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī’s words: “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Today, along with repair of our kitchen light. I am allowing light into all areas of myself. My kitchen is bright again, and the candles lit last night will allow light to enter deep into my soul, healing again that wound from so many years ago. The words spoken last night, of determination to make a difference in the world, to step up and teach our children to be better, to support loved ones who are broken, to hear each other’s pain and minister to one another in love, to lift our voices in song even through the tears, all have allowed light to enter those broken places in me.
May we be gentle with each other in our brokenness. May we minister to each other in love and pain and despair. May we teach our children a better way. May we allow light to enter our wounds and heal all our deeply hidden broken places.