My spine is poking through my chest--gore of white digestive tract, brown fecal matter and white spinal fluid co-mingling into a gelatinous pinkish ooze dripped into the blood soaked soil where I lay. I am broken and dying. The familiar cacophony of battle fades its echoing in my ear, a robin chirps in the distance. I reach down toward my mid-section and with a confused look on my face. I make a futile attempt at placing my insides back inside. One last gasp of air. One last word. One last denial. “NOT REAL,” I breathed.
My spirit floated high above the ground as the smoke of battle dissipates. I look down upon both halves of my body torn asunder like two monsters tried to pull me apart as if I were a wishbone. As I gaze upon myself, an angel descends out of the dimming sky above me and gently touches me on the cheek, “It’s not time yet,” she whispers softly into my ear, her warm breath tickling my eardrum.
“It was real,” she said, and with a whoosh she was gone. I found myself back on the frozen blood soaked ground. There was a company of over 200 onlookers around me with concern and love on their faces. I looked up at them weakly raising my right hand for help. A tall, kind looking black man comes out of the throng. He looks down and with a twinkle in his eyes, says to me, “I did it, you can too.” Breath in my anemic lungs causes me to choke on my own phlegm and blood.
Slowly, the crowd fades into the haze. Once more the darkness surrounding me threatens to consume me. I shut my eyes for what could be the last time. Suddenly, out of the north a bright beacon of light appears. Out of the center of that light came what could only be described as the most beautiful pair of wings I had ever seen. As the wings flew closer I could see they were made of blue sapphire and golden citrine gems. The wings came down and gently caressed and lifted my brokenness into the night sky. I was then carried back into the light where the wings came out of, flying me north over mountains and trees. Over plains and canyons we both traveled until my strength returned slowly at first. After time, my near-fatal wounds became less gruesome.
I finally came to rest at an old brick building. I was surrounded by other wings of various colors and sizes. It was a safe place where I could heal and strengthen. Afraid of being ridiculed and wounded again, I put my battle scarred armor up to protect me. The wings descended to assess my mutilation. As they came closer, I found they too had been wounded in much the same way. Then, in exhaustion my armor falls to the ground. I lay open and exposed, my flesh gurgling out its life juices dripping off the table and onto the floor.
A wing of particular beauty and grace comes swooping down and whispers, “I believe you; it happened.”
Another one says, “You didn't ask for it; you can heal from it.”
Months go by. My body sewn together I rise from the table and I look down at the scar. I could smell the putrid sewer stench of infection and gangrenous flesh. With revenge in my heart I stumbled toward my sword across the room. “I know where you live; you motherfucking bastard!” I screamed.
With my sword in my right hand I grasped for the latch on the door. I became suddenly frozen and surrounded by a black storm of lightning, thunder, and hail. Out of the tempest a tornado came to me and spoke, “You can't come back here if you exit the safety of this room.” I tried for the door again. The wind spoke, “If you leave you will pray for death and it will not come.” With rage and revenge I place my hand on the latch and pull the opening door toward me the third and final time. “STOP!” the wind commanded. “You will never see me again if you do as your heart desires.”
I shut the door and carefully crawled back onto the table and allowed the wings to minister to me once more. After a few days, I could no longer smell the filth of my infected body. I no longer wanted retribution or vengeance. I no longer wanted my wound maker to suffer as I did. I would choose to allow him life. I would choose to allow him to face the final more righteous judge.
“You can do this,” the wings spoke to me again.
“You are stronger than you think you are.”
Finally, I was no longer bleeding or weak from the battle that seemed so very long ago. I rose from the table stronger than ever before, muscles bulging against my clothing. I looked around for my sword and shield. I found them at rest on the wall polished and ready for use.
In unison, my ministers spoke to me. “Rise up! and speak! Rise up! Refuse the shame that was once your wound. Rise up! Speak the story of how you overcame. Rise up! Place the shame back onto those who would seek to harm. Rise up! You are strong, SPEAK!”
The storm came to me after the wings spoke, “Rise up and leave your weapons of war here. I will be your sword and shield. Speak, so that others may not be afraid. Give courage to those that have none. Be the voice in the darkness so that others may join in.”
I rose from the table, with pen in hand. I opened my mouth, “I am still here and so are you!”
Dedicated to the wing of particular beauty and grace. P.M.
Please contact the Wings Foundation or a similar organization in your area for help and healing.