A neighbor saw me on a Sunday morning
And he said,
“Miss Michael, you dazzle. How do you manage to stay beautiful
In a world that keeps falling apart?”
If only he knows the story of my independence.
If only he asked for my story.
I wanted to tell him that this lustrous skin and beauty are not natural
That I became violent and I took them by force
I wanted to tell him that my long hair and cat eyes I wasn’t born with
That they came from the wars I’ve fought.
From fighting the wrong wars and enemies
That they came from the conquers I suffered and the victories I won
I wanted to tell him there were scars
And they healed by turning to God the mender of clays.
I wanted to tell him it took years
Years of believing the wrongs, till my eyes were opened to the rights
That it took seeking for love in men, till I discovered divine love in front of me.
That it took being hurt and broken and crushed, then turning to Christ the healer of hearts
That it took being hit in the head with a hammer till you’re a bag of flesh
That it took being a bag of flesh, and then fixing your bones one at a time till you build something close to The skeleton of the skeleton you used to be.
That it took being darkness, and letting your black shine so hard till it lustres into light
That it took tears and tears
And lies and lies
And a little more lie till you hunger for truth
That it took having a past, a dirty past
But taking a bold step into the future because you know God is there
That it took looking at yourself in the mirror, and not forgetting what you look like
That it took being a virgin, and then not being
Because someone and something has robbed you of that garment
But then turning to God the source of all chastity
That it took searching for joy and pursuing happiness, and seeking friendship till you find it all in Christ
I wanted to tell him that it took being ugly
And then refusing to be ugly
By letting God do the job of a makeup kit in your life
Concealing your marks with forgiveness and love
Spreading the foundation of faith and hope
And painting your lips and eyes with the joy that surpasses even your own understanding
I wanted to tell him my story
I wanted to show him my scars
But he didn’t ask. So before he left
I told him almost in a whisper,
“You too can be beautiful.”