it was battered and scarred and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while
to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile;
"what am i bid good folks?" he cried,
"who'll start the bidding for me?
a dollar, a dollar, then two! only two?
two dollars and who'll make it three?"
"three dollars once and three dollars twice.
going for three..." but no,
from the room far back, a gray-haired man
came forward and picked up the bow;
then wiping the dust from the old violin
and tightening the loose strings,
he played a melody pure and sweet
as a caroling angel sings.
the music ceased, and the auctioneer,
with a sad voice that was quiet and low,
said, "what am i bid for the old violin?"
and he held it up with the bow.
"a thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
two thousand and who'll make it three?
three thousand once and three thousand twice
and going, and gone," said he.
the people cheered, but some of them said,
"we do not quite understand.
what changed its worth?" quick came the reply,
"'twas the touch of the Master's Hand."
and many a man with life out of tune
and battered and scarred with sin,
is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
much like the old violin.
a mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
a game and he travels on.
he's going once and going twice,
he's going and almost gone.
but the Master comes and the foolish crowd
never can quite understand
the worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
by the touch of the Master's hand.
although this poem refers to a man whose life is battered by sin, it speaks to me of my life, battered by abuse. the Master, just as he helps the sinner find his worth, helps those whose worth has been hidden in the tragedy of abuse find theirs as well.
since the announcement of the theme "rebirth and renewal" was made for april's blog carnival against child abuse i have been thinking about it a lot. what does rebirth and renewal mean to me, and how does it apply to my past abuse?
over the course of my childhood i lost sight of who i was. i was angry and i didn't know why. i had no self-esteem and little confidence in myself and my abilities. i was depressed and unable to deal with everyday problems. i began going to counseling at thirteen, which helped some. as i progressed through junior high and high school, i began to see more glimpses of who i really am underneath the pain and anger. but i am still unable to grasp at that knowledge all of the time--in fact, it seems, i rarely am able to see myself for who i really am, who i was before the abuse.
i have had a number of "rebirths" throughout my life and i am sure that i have many more ahead of me. there is one, however, that i am looking forward to with both anticipation and apprehension. a few months ago i spent a week working on myself, working on bringing myself to a point to be ready to confront my past and push myself into the future. while on this difficult and painful journey, with the help of a counselor, i made a decision.
the only way for me to truly be able to move on and let the past be is to tell my abuser what he has done to me.
this statement sends chills of fear and excitement running down my spine. i have a knot in my chest and terrifying images enter my head. i relive nightmares of him laughing at me, throwing it back in my face, victimizing me all over again. and yet there is a part of me that is larger than it has ever been that is determined to tell him exactly what he has done to me, and to my life. a part of me that will demand an apology, that will stand up for myself and dump all of my crap on him--and never look back. that would truly be a rebirth for me.
i have found that no matter what steps i take toward a renewal of the knowledge of who i am, i always fall short--unless i have help. unless i allow myself to be like the old violin, unless i let the Master wipe away the dust of pain and guilt and hurt, to tighten my loose strings, to use His love to play the notes of peace and joy in my soul. just as i am working toward this major step in my healing, i know that i will never make it without His love, His understanding, and His strength bolstering me up. as i think about His love, and His sacrifice for me, the knot in my chest slowly eases, the anxiety i feel slowly ebbs away, and is replaced with peace and a calm assurance that i can do this. my tears of fear and hurt turn to tears of joy and gratitude. i CAN overcome my fears. i CAN put the past behind me and move forward with determination, with confidence, with hope for the future instead of dread.
and the crowd may never understand. in fact, i may never understand what changed within me. but the worth of my soul, as a child of God, will shine through the pain, and the change in my heart will show through the hurt, all because of the touch of the Master's hand.