It’s evenings like tonight that I see how much I look like a robot, and how much I’m not meant to be one.
Recently, until today, I have reveled in my powerful work ethic, my masculine confidence, my talents to charm people and to craft words like crisp blades. My robotic body was quickly sweeping the race track and brilliantly standing out above the rest.
Today, however, the bullet-tipped nose of my chrome chassis crashed into the gritty blacktop.
The collapse began when I woke from a dream at 3am in which I had salaciously cheated with my friend’s wife. Guilt. Then I was chastised at work. Then a friend snapped at me when I was just trying to help him. And honestly the heaviest thing was a girl that I like a lot but I’m afraid neither one of us is enough for the other. I was a mess and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out.
It was like sand had been thrown into my engine, it was all rattling to pieces, and my steam pressured drum had burst down the center and lost all its power.
The whole day I longed to be able to drag my parts into a quiet corner and search for the source of my catastrophic breakdown.
So after work I snuck home, sat on the porch and opened my journal.
At the bird feeder above me Nuthatches and Chickadees and even a Cardinal flitted about. The pink sky faded to gray-blue behind the trees, my favorite color. Woody called and as we talked the backs of lightning bugs lit up like little neon afterburners. We prayed. A big beetle shivered on the wall. Such a big world here that I had forgotten about.
This is where, in my quiet corner I feel like a sliver of sunlight reached down and revealed the source of it all, the thing shuddering in the bottom of my big cracked pneumatic drum.
It was a heart of frightened, bloody flesh. Ruptured down the middle like one of those swollen bread rolls. It was starving from neglect but still alive.
And I realized again that sometimes it takes being ruined by this world of robots to remind us that we’re really, at our core driven by a very human, living heart that feels instead of wins. That longs for and cries for help instead of manipulates. We were not made for stomping around a race track in a big, cold, lonely metal chassis, but instead to be held in big soft hands and let ourselves be loved by our creator, and each other.