Pin Box

The obvious detail,
about the pin box in my head this morning,
is that the box itself is old.
Some old memory of an old box
when I was very young;
round, tan,
some old fashioned type to tell its brand;
and the curling edges
that make it hard to close,
for it is made of that soft cardboard of our pasts.

There are also the fragments
of yellowed dried paper
that pasted it once together.
Long ago, a fingernail -
or nail file -
must have slipped between
the edges of the box
to split the tape,
so that the sharp and shiny
pins could now be found.

There they are -
100 to a box -
silver in the light.
And waiting.

One hundred ways
to prick a finger
      or a memory;
to turn up a hem
      or an old wound;
one hundred ways to pin notes together
      or to draw blood.

Now I would never buy myself
a narrow knotted whip
and sit -
or stand at night
and beat my back until I bled;
such behavior is medieval,
But -
the poor little me who lives inside
and needs to suffer still,
can pull,
out of an old grimed box,
one pin at a time.

Oh - yes!
This one is when I hurt my little sister;
this -when I did not see my brother.
The one - right here -
when I slapped a child.
Or yelled.
And a whole handful,
all at once,
for the times I turned my back on love.

No, I would not buy a narrow, knotted whip.
Who needs it?
I have 100 sharp points
to put in where it hurts
and you can be sure
I know where and when to hurt myself.

Is this what it means
to crucify the Christ,
two thousand years after Friday Afternoon?

To beg for mercy and for peace,
      Lord, have Mercy.
To pray for patience and for peace,
      Christ, have Mercy.
And while He sends His Peace,
      Lord, have Mercy,
I reach to find another pin;
hurting me, hurting Him.

it is time
to gently place the lid on
for I do not want to tear the box
and spill such pain so far.
It is time
to gently place the box
into some well lit place within my soul
and leave it there,
as a reminder of that old, old need to suffer,
as I move toward the freedom,
and laughter
of my new, new life in Christ.

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