“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.”
~ Michelangelo ~
I cry out to the Sculptor but he does not hear me from within the stone.
This tomb is cold and dark and heavy.
My words echo endlessly, repeating, repeating, growing quieter with each pass.
My feet cannot move, my hands are paralyzed, my lungs crushed against the weight.
My eyes are permanently open, yet see nothing but darkness.
I wait. Within the stone. Alone.
I was born once, and lived.
I was born once, and loved.
I was born once, and lost.
Now I wait to be found.
Now I wait to be birthed.
Now I wait to be heard.
Now I wait to be free.
He chips away steadily, with purpose,
until my feet are created upon a well-muscled pair of legs.
With each chip, something drops from me.
Grief litters the base mixing with the liquid of old tears.
Loss piles up as my legs break free.
Identity. Health. Title. Marriage. Jobs. Pets. Dreams.
The Sculptor gently blows away the dust of the ages,
and the motes sparkle in the sunlight as they lift from the heavy stone.
I wriggle my toes, happy for the sturdy foundation upon which I stand.
My feet remember sand squishing between my toes as I ran along a beach,
blades of grass tickling my soles while running through a field.
They itch at the thought of such freedom.
My arms and hands are next.
The muscles and tendons within my fingers protest as I stretch them for the first time.
No longer imprisoned in the stone, they let go of what they have grasped for far too long.
Blame, intolerance, despair, hopelessness break free and drift into nothingness
as my hands lift in supplication and thanks for another chance, another life.
Regrets disappear as The Sculptor blows away more dust,
His fingers running over the curves in a knowing caress.
He carves both ears, and as the waxy stone is removed,
a symphony of Divine beauty courses through the tunnels as my fingers shake in awe.
The notes echo through to my toes.
My eyes – yes, please – my eyes.
He chips away what seems like forever, then chips away some more.
What is wrong? Why can’t I see? There is only darkness where there should be light.
The Sculptor replaces his chisel with a sharper one,
and delicately crafts the blood vessels and membranes of sight.
Suddenly, like a dawn of ages past,
the light rises in colors more brilliant than I remember,
dazzling in its rainbow display.
Tears drip onto my frozen cheeks as I remember
the breathtaking beauty of things forgotten.
Focused, the work continues as He chisels and shapes and carves,
every detail from the flowing hair to the perfect, gleaming teeth a work of art.
Finished. At last, but for one last thing.
He walks to the Tabernacle and carefully opens its door, reaching in for His Precious Gift.
A heart, shimmering, pulsating, rests in His hands.
He walks toward me, and with eyes filled with love
and a voice barely more than a whisper,
gently pushes it into my chest.
“I give you My heart.”
A flood of compassion swirls through my body,
and I take a deep breath with my new lungs.
I breathe out warmth and love and contentment.
How can I feel weightless when carved from marble?
How can eyes see when chiseled from stone?
But I do. And I can.
All that weighed me down is no more.
I am no longer a prisoner of my own making;
I am blessedly, wonderfully free.
Free to take part in a further journey.
But this time, I will love more and take less.
This time, I will see with the Eyes of His Heart.
This time, I choose to remain free.