When I was little I remember there were few things that irked me more deeply than being told to "walk it off" after I had hurt myself. It wasn't something I heard a lot, as it was never something my parents said, but rather well-meaning neighborhood parents and friends from down the street.
Once I was lying in the middle of the walkway leading up to a playmate's house, the wind knocked out of me after I had crashed down when the skateboard I was tediously riding had slipped from beneath me and gone ricocheting down the driveway. I lay there, knees bloody, breathless, embarassed and hurt, when one of my friends' older brothers came and stood over me and said, "Come on Jess, just walk it off." My heart swelled with indignation and hurt... And then I burst into tears. How DARE he tell me to walk it off? I didn't want to walk it off! What good would walking do me? I just wanted to sit here and have a good cry-- THAT would help! But my hot tears were met with no sympathy, so I picked myself up and hobbled home, where I knew my mom would be ready with a kiss and a soft hand to rest on my back.
Even now, in adulthood, I find adult-isms akin to "walk it off" continue to irk me. I'm fairly new to this grown-up thing, but it seems like so much of the attitude I see here in the upper hemisphere of age and responsibility is set on stuffing it. Don't show your cards, you'll just get taken out. Your heart is meant to be kept in a shoebox on the uppermost shelf in your most unused closet-- heaven forbid it get worn on your sleeve. Emotions are meant for stuffing-- in your soul and your spouse. Life is duty. Hurt is not for the public eye. Messes should be kept under wraps and a close guard should be kept at all times over your heart. Walk it off.
All I see is pretty grim.
Now, I'm not saying I think life should be this big free-for-all where we pour ourselves out in front of everyone we meet in the grocery store, but God gave us each other for a reason. And he gave us our hearts for a reason. "Above all else, guard your heart..." Not like a prisoner that needs close watching, but as a treasure to be kept safe. And not "buried in the ground" safe, but "living hard and fast, running on all cylinders" safe. I've been living in a near-constant state of hurt for the past year and a half. Actually it sort of swings between feeling numb and kind of okay to soul-wrenching, devastating, spirit-aching hurt. And I'm not afraid to say I haven't felt any better than that in a really long time. But I trust that if I run to my Daddy today, like I try to do every day, he'll be ready with a kiss, and a steadying hand on my broken, festering heart. I trust that if I let it all hang out to him, he'll put it all back in even better than before. Until then I'm going to sit here, healing in his lap. And then I'll start to walk.