There is at least one spot in each of our hearts that lights up as fast as gasoline whenever that one thing happens. For you, it may be when your spouse has that look on his or her face and as soon as you see it, the torch flares inside you. It could be seeing someone else’s highlight reel in this virtual world where we peer through each others’ windows and expose ourselves without shame – either the Photoshopped good or the sensationalized bad. But the comparison we make as Peeping Toms yells at us and reminds us that our life is not nearly as special or bright or dark or good or meaningful as the person we spy on.
Or maybe it’s that friend who you thought was a friend until they disappeared and when you shout out to them in the forest, “Where are you?” and you swim across the lake and hopefully sing, “Marco!” and there is no reply of “Polo” and there is no reply at all and your heart ignites in fear and anger and insecurity.
I have many of these spots and as I wake up I lay in bed for several minutes and pray desperately to dance over them with love and softness instead of give in to the torpedo of fury. Like a lighter these spots spark throughout the day and eventually something provides it enough fuel to explode and sometimes I cannot control it.
There is a thing I do that is probably much like a junior high boy. I exist on one plane of real life where there are people and bodies and air and gravity. In my head I click the imaginary + sign and add a layer only I can see and in this layer I throw a bomb at the car that just cut me off or I imagine cartoon arrows shooting at that one man whose existence frustrates me to no end because he hurt someone I love. I look and loathe and try to find some kind of cloak of invisibility so that these things I imagine will never be known or seen though I know the only one who matters both knows and sees these.
My soul grieves the way my heart throws its fire around so easily and with such entitlement. Forgive me, forgive me, I say over and over again. And I know I am forgiven and I know with time and surrender maybe these fires will become smaller and burn so slowly until the embers turn to ash and disappear forever.