The punishing Arizona sun has taken its toll and left its mark, and I mean literally, on a lot of carcasses including my own. I’m just one of the major majority that has lived here the better part of our lives and have had to have spots burned, scraped, or cut out of this soul cage to beat the skin cancer clock.
I’ve used that fact to justify wearing long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts ninety percent of the time, even in the dead of summer, to cover up the defeated flesh.
But that’s really a partial truth… The rest of the story is that I’m hiding more than tired skin under those long sleeves.
Like a lot of us I suspect, I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve… just hiding it on the inside down by my left wrist.
We learn early in life that not if, but when, we create something, anything, we open ourselves to be judged and to critics… whether we ask for it or not. A quick jaunt down memory boulevard uncovers art projects in school, a couple of science fairs, and a host of opinions, some pleasant, some not so much.
With enough time and creations, we begin to develop thick skin. The process isn’t so different than some of the other actions that started about the same time as the original critics.
It didn’t take too long playing tetherball or even swinging on the monkey bars to realize that soft skin tears and breaks, but with enough perseverance, calluses come to the rescue… But here’s the thing; calluses aren’t bullet proof.
I was reminded just how exposed our hearts really are, even if we try to hide them on the inside of our sleeves.
I never stopped to consider the consequences of what the critics might say about a manuscript with the memoir of my family between the covers. Just like in grade school the untempered opinions began to unload like bullets from a Glock 9mm pistol.. and the Man of Steel doesn’t happen to be a distant relative.
I respect the folks that create things. It doesn’t matter if it’s building a painting, a home, a church, a reputation, or a book… or even a blog. It takes guts to put your creation out there and let the general public or even friends and family take pot shots at the creations that started in our hearts and souls… It’s not for the faint of heart, regardless of where we wear it.
The desires and gifts to create come from God above when He’s the focus of our intentions. It’s my belief that when we do the best we can do with the proper perspective, He’ll plug the holes in our hearts… and the ones on our sleeves.
When the passion to create and build ignite like a fire in our soul and belly, it doesn’t matter if we wear our hearts under our sleeves, we’re called to roll them up.
The heart, where God resides, can be hurt… but never broken…