Loose: A Meditation ~ Shonell Bacon

Loose: A Meditation
by Shonell Bacon
Freedom Dance” print by Laurie Cooper

Ooh,
When you do,
what you do,
where you do,
why you do,
how you do,
I become loose.

Get your mind out the gutter,
for I’m talking about one
who is like no other,
my Lord, my Savior, my Father.

You cannot plan to be touched by Jesus. There is no timetable for it. You lift prayer after prayer, day after day, to him, and then go on with your existence, hoping, carrying your faith close to your heart, that he will listen, that he will break you from your rigid life. And as you go on, go on with your existence, a moment occurs, a moment that slows you, stops you, moves you, makes you listen, discern, burn the past, and light the future.

He took me, a
hardheaded,
foul-mouthed,
negative-thinking,
envy-having,
fear-collecting,
happiness-depriving,
bad past-reflecting
woman, and he
shook me loose and free
like crisp white sheets
on the line being whipped
by a stiff spring breeze.

I can’t say I liked who I was before he shook me loose. I’m not sure I even knew who I was. I was a collection of things—of everything that I had ever seen, that had ever happened to me. I consumed the memories daily like fast food, getting fat and unhealthy from each painful moment. To keep from thinking about the lack of love, the breakup of a family, of the loved ones lost, and every other piece of baggage carried, I made a life of “the same”: wake up, pray, eat, work, eat, pray, sleep. I had forgotten what it was like to expect better, different. To truly hope, believe, and to act in that hope and belief. I became steadfast in my mediocracy… until.

At first, I stood,
defiant, reluctant to
let him in, but when
he wants in, it’s not up
to you whether the door
opens or not.

“Do you want to be loose?”
he asked me, but I stood
there, still, with
unmoving lips,
hand upon hip
though my mind screamed,
Rescue me from the life
I’ve created for myself.

You stay in a job that manipulates every part of who you truly are. You tell yourself that the money helps you to exist in the life you think you have. You live a life filled more with saying yes to others than saying yes to self. You tell yourself that if everyone else is OK, then you will eventually be OK. Problem is, there is never an eventually for you. You live a life so devoid of you that you don’t even know what you are, who you are. What do you want? The mere thought of the question fills you with so many answers you need to purge them. Most of the time, you don’t even think you deserve to want. You’re smart enough to know that how you’re living is not how you should be living, but this is what you know. You’re stuck with no ability to move out of the muck of a life you’ve created.

When your family, your friends come to you, asking if you’re OK, you don’t say, SAVE ME. You don’t ask for help. You smile, tell them you’re fine, and wake up, pray, eat, work, eat, pray, and sleep. You’re almost at the point of resigning yourself to this life. I’ve been doing it this long, you say. What’s the rest of my life?

Even when Jesus shows up in the middle of your commute to work, you try to blink him away, to stay where you are, to not feel him calling you. Your mind screams, Please, save me, Lord, but you grip the wheel, determined to find your own way… to work and through life. But he hears the silent begging in your heart, and he won’t leave you.

He rescued me.

Piece by piece,
Peace by peace,
he did.

He touched my eyes and said,
“See with all your heart and soul,”
and before me was a straight path
full of golden-lit goals.

He touched my nose and said,
“Take in your new life,” and instead
of the decay of inner city, I
breathed light and air with no strife.

He touched my ears and said,
“Listen with all your heart and soul,”
and I could hear words of encouragement
and love in a soft, sweet echo.

He touched my mind and said,
“Remember not your past so that you
can feel guilt, but remember so that a
better life in the future can be built.”

He touched my hands and said,
“When in doubt, lift them high,”
and fingertips reached heavenward
because on only him could I rely.

He touched my mouth and said,
“Let your praises be heard,” and
beautiful music lifted from some
place inside my soul that stirred.

He touched my feet and said,
“Let them move for me,” and my
hip dipped, my hair swayed, and my
feet danced as if set free.

Light as air, I moved, a vision in bright white. I danced, bare feet on soft green grass though it felt as if I was walking on air. My thick mane swayed with each twist and turn of my firm frame. The sheer dress lifted and swirled and caressed my thighs as my arms lifted in prayer and praise. My heart—red, warm, and loved—thumped a rhythm it had never produced before. Its strong cadence lifted me, lowered my past, shook it from head to sole of foot until my spirit felt as clean, as bright as my dress. No words could articulate the fullness of the moment, so I hummed, moaned, and groaned my delight, knowing Jesus knew every word I could not say.

It wasn’t easy,
the loosening.
Nothing good in life
ever comes easily,
but it came,
the loosening,
slowly, but surely,
it came, and he
took me,
piece by piece,
peace by peace,
and released
all burden from me,
leaving me
light,
loose,
and free
to dance.

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