I screamed and cried as the operation progressed. I’d refused anesthesia and now I was paying for it in a way I couldn’t escape. In the dimly lit room, I was held captive to my promise, lying upon a slab of wood, awaiting His expert touch.
His expression was solemn, his eyes were wise and with a soft dust cloth, He wiped away the dust from the doors of my soul-cabinet. I offered Him the key, but He reminded me of a spare copy I’d given him long ago.
I blushed and lay down, waiting for Him to begin.
It was a process I’d never forget.
The doors of my soul opened easily. I could not see a single thing within, but His piercing eyes saw everything everywhere. He dusted the corners and settled down to work.
At first, it didn’t hurt, then the first pangs of pain began. Things I had wanted. Things I had known. Things that I didn’t want to let go of. All of them, He removed, one by painful one. My voice was hoarse by the time He paused to allow me a break to catch my breath.
I couldn’t hate Him. I had finally asked. A fresh start, a clean heart and a soul-cabinet stocked for Him. A shudder passed through me and I felt my head swimming in circles as He tugged out another painful chunk of my sorry reality.
With careful, practiced hands, He drew out a battered, forest-green cube, the fancy script on the side read ‘resentment’.
The cube was tossed towards the recycle bin as He continued on. I waited for the next scream, but it was longer in coming. When the next cube was removed, I didn’t feel emptiness.
My voice was stuck inside my throat as I wondered what He’d taken out this time. Calm, quiet moments passed and for a moment, my senses returned enough for me to take in the soothing interior of His workshop.
A faint trill of happiness surged through me and I found myself taking slow, careful breaths.
“This one wasn’t so bad, was it?”
The handful of tears spilled out of my eyes and I found myself nodding. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. He was gentle. He was kind. He was more than I could have dreamed of. I didn’t deserve this. I was unworthy.
He wiped away the tears with strong hands that were soft to the touch. When I dared to raise my guilty face to His forgiving eyes, somewhere amidst them, I found grace. I also found that I didn’t have any tears left to return to Him.
The cubes piled up on my left side as I craned my neck to read them. Squinting, I could make out words and phrases, inscriptions that drew fierce blushes to the surface.
Refusing to let go.
He reached for the chisel and I braced myself for the impact. It wouldn’t kill me, but it would still hurt. The pain melted away as I felt wet, warm drops spattering on my hands.
His tears flowed freely down His face with an expression of love too beautiful to behold. My head ached and my throat ran dry. I had no emotion left to project. I had nothing worthwhile inside of me.
The ache in my head moved into my heart and it began to mourn in tandem with my soul-cabinet. I couldn’t bear it any longer. I sat up and threw my arms around His neck. “Daddy!” I hiccupped into my shoulder. “I’m empty. I’m so useless.”
He rubbed my shoulders and kissed the top of my head. “No, my child. Because I can fill you, now you are useful.” He pointed towards a stack of cheerful, colored blocks on a rolling cart. “Would you let me fill your soul-cabinet?”
I nodded and closed my eyes.
He began to pack the cubes, with gentle, expert hands.
He filled my cabinet until I was sure I would die of happiness. I couldn’t feel a single smidge of emptiness and I felt so light and full that I could float.
“Daddy? Are you finished?”
“As your heart grows, and you grow, more good things will be able to fit in there.”
“Am I better now?”
He held me close. “You’re just fine.”
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