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What Lies Beneath

My housemate/brother Brian came into my room today and saw the view I have because of the direction my bed faces. Because of this, I do not see the highway, which is just to the right of our apartment. I suggested he move his bed by simply sliding it to the other side of the room, move the pillows from one end to the other and then all you have to deal with is the mess beneath the bed. We joked he didn’t want to deal with that, recognizing how true this is of both of our lives in many ways. 

Why do anything that will cause us more work? This mentality keeps many of us stuck in growth-stunting patterns for large chunks of our lives, patterns that are usually only changed through traumatizing life changes. The kind most of us would never choose, but Jesus lovingly allowed Brian and I to step into, and the "mess beneath" that we now live with cleaning up is significant. 

My "mess beneath" started to show before we ever actually moved in together. Obsessive, compulsive, controlling, possessive, insecure, mood shifting, suicidal ideation, messiness. All hidden under the bed that is my life that had not been moved for 21 years while I lived alone. And when "the bed" of my life and routine was moved, it wasn’t just across the room but into a whole new way of life and being. 

Had I known the depth of the mess under the bed, I’m not sure I would have moved it, so God lovingly blinded me to, or allowed me to ignore, my mess, knowing I would leave my bed right where it was if I saw all the crap I’d stuffed up under it over the years. Now, the bed has been moved for just over a year, and Brian and I are doing an admirable job in dealing with our individual messes, though our messes are very deeply messy. 

Under my bed, there were rotten things. Decaying garbage that was wrapped in paper that disguised its rottenness. So, at first, I thought part of my mess was just the papers I easily saw once the bed was moved, but then through therapy, Adoration, Mass, and prayer, the pieces of crumbled paper are opened to reveal the rotting pieces of fruit that they were used to disguise. The fruit itself rots not because it is in and of itself bad but because it was bumped, bruised, or bitten and then thrown away rather than dealt with. 

An example of this wrapping bruised fruit in paper would be my distrust of men. I was wounded by men at an early age, so I will just wrap the fruit of healthy relationships with men in a piece of paper to hide it and throw it under the bed. Now the bed is moved, I moved in with my best friend, who is a man, so the paper is removed, and now I have to deal with the rotten part of friendships with men so the fruit can be healthy again. A painful, unpleasant process that is necessary for me to be the man Jesus wants me to be for my own sake, not just for His. 

So I’ve chosen to deal with the mess beneath the paper of isolation, the seemingly easy way to get away from the damaged fruit that has rotted but is not beyond repair. Jesus wants this repaired for my own sake and for the sake of all those who I share this messy healing process with. Those whose beds also need to be moved. Those who have many rotten fruits in their Ives that, if left hidden, will keep them from the healthy fruit Jesus has waiting for all His brothers and sisters through Baptism. 

Please Lord,w strengthen both Brian and I to persevere in this healing work in our lives for our own sake and, more importantly, for the sake of the Kingdom. Help us to evangelize through both example and words.

Written 2/1/21

Human-written, AI spell-checked


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