And it’s on nights like these that I love best, and most deeply, and most purely. George Winston’s “Autumn” is spinning languidly on the record player. I have a cup of cinnamon tea. And upstairs, Beth and Justin are talking, loving each other.
Just when I think I’m too hurt or too scared to go on, quiet moments like this come to me and I’m wrapped in a circle of unbroken love – my friends stand strong around me, my family clasps hands in a wider ring around them, and our God binds us all together. Nothing bad can happen to me. I’m safe.
And with that safety comes the beautiful freedom to love back, to give back. You can’t pry yourself open; I’ve tried. The harder you wrench at your seams, the tighter they knit themselves shut. Nothing opens them but love. You do have to try, but you try with love. Not desperation. Not fear.
It’s a weird metaphor, but I feel sometimes like the X-Men. Specifically, I feel like Rogue. I feel like a poison to everyone I want to help, to everyone I try to love. I keep people away; I want to touch them, but touching them will hurt them. Sometimes, I wonder about the creators of X-Men and how they could be so awful to create someone like Rogue. She embodies, in one way, one of our most fundamental fears – that we are our own enemy.
But, in their infinite grace, the X-Men people also created Wolverine. And Wolverine heals. He can heal himself, yes, but he can also heal Rogue.
Wolverine can heal himself and he can heal Rogue.
He can touch her. Does she hurt him? Of course. Inevitably. But he heals.
God has given me dozens of Wolverines over the years. Maybe hundreds. He put the ability to heal inside everyone. Humankind is entirely made of Wolverines and Rogues.
Sometimes we’re more one than the other. That’s our war. But we fight it and so does everyone else. Everyone. We don’t have to fight alone.
And on nights like these, I’ve been touched by a healing hand, not a poisonous one. I’m wrapped in a circle of unbroken love. I’m open. I love back.
I love. And I'm not Rogue, tonight.