The other day I found myself thinking about how depressed I used to be, in so much damned pain all the time. It used to be a constant mantra that ran like the nearly inaudible background music in stores: heal me, heal me, heal me.

I wasn't sure exactly who was supposed to heal me, although I hoped God would be involved. I had no idea how it would happen, although I kept thinking love might have some answers. And really, I didn't know what a healed life would look like, and I was even less sure I'd fit into it. I was a mess, a total disaster, pain swirling like angry bees through every artery just about all of the time. I was more used to disruption than satisfaction, and chinked the drafts in my tumbling house with doomed romance, lonely independence, and a thousand bottles of beer. I drove too fast and screamed too loud; I was obnoxious and embarassing; I started fights, said too much, kissed anyone I wanted to; tried to survive.

And a miracle: I did survive. I was a searing bonfire, gobbling fuel, reaching beyond the trees--then, as the night died, I settled slowly back to ember, a lovely low glow.

On this day, sweet Jesus, I am happy. I am healed, I am well. My prayers were answered, raining down on me like manna. I have all the external things I longed for--my good-hearted husband and round-bellied children who kiss me with grape jelly mouths, my fulfilling work, my Honda SUV, my blooming tulips--but more importantly, I am filled up and grown over with Spirit. It took fifteen or twenty years of pouring into me, but at last I am filled up.

I suppose I am drawn to human service because this is so damned wonderful I just want to share it. I want to say, it's possible!

Once I cut myself with knifes sterilized with my own Bic lighter, just to release my pain. Now just the sight of tender new leaves on the back raspberry vine make me giddy with joy. My world used to be flat, two-dimensional, grey; now it is alive with sound and color.

If my life ends tomorrow, I have lived well. And that is all I ever wanted.

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