Faith Stories – Star Word: Wholeness
We were taught as small children that two halves and four quarters make a whole. Eight pieces to a pizza, five hundred pieces to a puzzle. That even one piece missing would make it incomplete. As little girls, we were told that Cinderella needed both her shoes to become a princess, and it was when she found the missing half that she found her true love.
We grew up collecting our toys, collecting our cards, keeping our sets, and wishing for the rest.
We dreamed of our perfect husband waiting for us at the other end of the aisle, being told to constantly be on the lookout for the man we would call our other half.
We grew up, still as children but quite older than before, feeling strong and ready to face the world. We had all our pieces in our arsenal, we knew we were properly indestructible.
But as we transformed from children into young ladies, we heard all the songs and watched all the movies that told us how to be complete. We questioned if we were in fact whole, but what if there really was a part missing to our heart and soul? Our mothers taught us to suck in our stomachs and curl our hair, how to be to become part of the perfect pair.
Two tomorrows, a path to each unknown. His hands embraced me as his own. All of my hopes and dreams brought to fruition in the boy who stood before me. The one to give me all the pieces that I had been missing. Yearning for his touch, hungry for his kiss. Little did I know that his craving was different than my own. Strong and overpowering, his greediness sucked what was left of my own. A traitorous mouth with traitorous teeth, he stole all the parts of me that I thought I could forever keep. Her eyes lost their shine, her mouth lost its smile. For her Prince Charming didn’t give her the missing half, but instead took half of what she had left. Down to a fourth, he dug harder into her wounds. Stealing her light, drowning her fire, her first love transformed her world into one that lacked all of her tenderness and desire. A body, missing her heart and soul, having lost all its innocence and purity. Left behind to question what made her so different from the rest and why her life had turned out so differently from what she had always imagined.
Now, a woman in her prime, she was certain that she would find the piece that had become misplaced. Country to country, coast to coast, searching for what she needed the most. Looking at every man as her answer. For he would be the one to give back to her what the first had taken. Her friends moved forward in their lives, down the path she wished she could have taken, introducing her to the ones they called their “better half,” as if him being the better made her all the lesser.
She continued to run even farther away, living in exotic lands, speaking in foreign tongues, thinking that if she searched the ends of the earth that one day she would stumble upon what she forever sought. Throwing coins into every fountain she crossed, seeking the sky for shooting stars, she sent out her wishes at every chance she got.
She danced between the snowflakes in Russia, she swam in the waters of Brazil, she climbed to the highest peaks in Switzerland, she basked in the sun of France. She explored the globe to find what could make her whole, only to revel in the beauty of the world that God had created for her. The waters unfathomably deep, the skies boundlessly vast, the stars in the sky immeasurable. For if these parts of His greatest creation were uncountable, why must she count her own? For He already knew every piece of her, telling her that the very hairs of her head were all numbered. Must she search and count, when He had it already figured out? She is of more value than the sparrows, the ones that were born with wings who fly freely through the heavens. She watches them dance through the celestial blue, singing songs of delight and praise. And if they can sing, how can she keep from singing? She began to frolic through nature, this time, eyes wandering, soaking it all in rather than using it for her own gain. If He created an entire universe so breathtakingly made, couldn’t He create someone so small just as beautifully and completely made?
The questions filled her mind, the old thoughts replaced by the new, of what more of herself she had yet to meet – those parts of her that had always been with her no matter how far she had run.
And then she found her answer, buried deep within her. She found her missing piece. She found her. She found ME.
I had always thought they taught us fractions to show us how we were so easily breakable, but instead, maybe I was always meant to learn that each piece of me holds something special of its own. Like the sky, the birds, the waters, the trees, and every beautiful piece that makes up our world. And within me, each piece was perfectly chosen and made by Him, holding every talent, desire, and inspiration of my own. For it was God who led me from one end of the earth to the other to dance in His beauty, to frolic through His wonders, to prance through His rain.
He made us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, each piece uniquely and wonderfully made to hold every beautiful thing that makes us who He created us to be. For how can I be incomplete when I come from God? For He has made me in His image, He who is eternally whole. Through His love, I am made whole. I may have searched the entirety of His creation to find what I am missing, only to find it was buried within me the entire time.
For the missing piece, the other half, everything that I had been searching for wasn’t missing at all.
During Epiphany worship on January 3, each of us at St. John’s was offered a special word for the year printed on a star. We are following our individual stars and opening our hearts and minds to see where it takes us in 2021. You can read more here. If you have a reflection about your Star Word, we’d love to hear about it and publish it too.