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Healing Art

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Two women; two friends; two life stories of deep wounds and profound loss. The first, a minivan-driving, kid-shuttling, suburban mom of two—and rape survivor struggling to return life to some semblance of "normal." The other an accomplished author who speaks to Fortune 500 companies, with more awards and honors than jellybeans in a jar—and survivor of intense emotional abuse. Both were daughters of the church, women of faith, life-long Christ followers no longer able to embrace God as "all powerful" or a Risen Christ who defeated evil. Both had lived "undefeated" evil, and their journeys toward healing were long, slow, and painful.

But in the mysterious alchemy of friendship, they shared tears, voiced the secrets that gripped their lives, prayed through the pain that cuts heart and soul. They laughed together in unexpected moments of "knowing" and "being known"—like the day, running errands together, they dashed into Office Max. While walking down aisles talking of real things, tears came unbidden. Standing amidst brightly lit office supply stock, two women hugged long. Tears came, then laughter at how they must look.

After years of intense therapy, prayer, and two souls' dark nights, there came a time to celebrate healing, wholeness, and grace upon grace. The one who survived emotional abuse determined to mark the mercy and joy woven through her life, the new beginnings. To her friend she gave a jewelry-drawer full of the award, scholarship, and accomplishment pins from years of striving, achieving, and believing that external accomplishments could salve inner pain.

Her friend, the rape survivor who knew that hard work and amazing grace must accompany any soul's healing, took the pins and began to weave. Strand by strand, bead by bead, hour after hour, from a friendship of two wounded women, emerged a necklace of great detail and striking beauty, a work of art to symbolize spiritual journey. A knotted, intense, tangled weave of beads, pearls, glass, and pins marking her early life wove through an antique pin passed down from a favorite aunt, then gave way to a loose weave of open, simple strands. At the necklace center, to cover her heart when she wore it, was a singular, simple childhood cross. Glass, pearls, crystals, and pins, some as small as the head of a pin, in the hands of a friend, now symbolized clarity, openness, healing, and peace from deep in God's heart. The necklace was to be a birthday gift, but when the work was complete, Easter was a week away. And Easter, the day of resurrection, the day believers acknowledge and celebrate love overcoming evil . . . that was the time for the gift that symbolized life, death, hope, and healing. Easter was the day to give this gift, woven in the grace of deep friendship.

And the face of the Risen Christ that Easter was as familiar as the face of a friend who companions us through the darkness while we wait for the light's return.

Most of the material on The High Calling is available for reuse under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. Unfortunately, work by Debra Klingsporn is not available for reuse. If you are interested in reprinting work by Debra Klingsporn, please contact him or her directly.

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