From a prompt by Poet Jen Harris,
“Everyone yearns for unconditional love with no strings attached.” – Anonymous
Did you have any expectations involving unconditional love?
I expected unconditional love to set me free. To give me space to come out of my tangled knots of insecurity. I expected unconditional love to save me. Instead of freedom, though, the voices that represented unconditional love tangled me all up in expectation. Yesterday became my enemy, as I was perpetually haunted by the ways I failed. Because UN-conditional simply wasn’t.
I wanted to sink down into the cozy sunday afternoon nap sort of home I expected unconditional love to be. But instead of a soft surface, I found it rigid. Unwelcoming. A spring protruding from the cushion where comfort should be. I wanted to be wrapped up in a perfect blanket of no expectations but instead I found endless reflections of my own imperfections.
Unconditional love met me in unmeant words on Sunday mornings spent on scratchy church pews, busy feet dangling when they couldn’t reach the floor. Stern whispered warnings to keep myself still. Unconditional love was about setting captives free, but instead, it captivated me. I got wrapped up in the beauty of Jesus and caged by the trappings of the church who introduced us.
I wish I’d just first met him in the breeze against my skin as a little girl walking to feed the ducks in my favorite pond. I wish I had met him in the sparrow’s song, in the ocean’s tide. I wish I’d met him when I felt free instead of caged. I wish I had learned his natural names before his Christian ones.