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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Monday, February 13, 2012
I suppose the people at the adult bookstore thought it was a good idea. Entice a few new patrons with some innocent looking helium balloons. What they came up with was the perfect metaphor. A mirror to the soul.

Valentine’s Day is upon us. I know because the card aisle at Target is nothing but red. Chocolate everywhere. Hearts. Love. Pink, too. That store is already red, so when this time of year rolls around it looks like an abattoir. (Fancy word for a slaughterhouse.)

But it was what I saw outside the adult bookstore that caught my eye. I know it’s an adult bookstore because on the side of the street is a crudely drawn sign that says, “Adult Bookstore.” They are not subtle. I drove past with my youngest daughter and glanced that direction and saw two helium-filled, heart-shaped balloons tied to a lamp-post in front.

The store itself was what you’d expect. A square building. Bars on the windows. Not too many windows. A parking lot in the back, I suppose. The front door was close to the dirty street. Not a soul in sight. Keep things hidden. Keep windows covered. But present a welcoming atmosphere with red, heart-shaped, helium-filled balloons on the pole in front.

As if you could find life behind those doors.

As if you’d find any kind of love. Or use something inside to show love to someone else. An adult bookstore takes much more than it ever gives.

The wind wasn’t just blowing on that Tucson street, it was howling and the tether to each balloon had wrapped around the pole as far as they could go, causing the balloons to fold in on themselves. They were just misshapen forms, hardly recognizable as hearts, crinkled and undefined.

The intent was this: “Come inside, we can give something good, something to spark your love life. Even if you don't have a love life. Come inside.”

The reality of the metaphor was closer to the truth" “Come inside and your heart will get wrapped around a light pole.”

I suppose there are many with hearts wrung out and wrapped around light poles. The divorced woman who hasn’t had a Valentine card in years. The divorced man who experiences the same. Or, perhaps they laugh and drink and try to numb the pain. Choices. Wrong turns. A heart given freely wrapped around a light pole. I read a blog over the weekend by a spurned woman who didn't know if she'd get a Valentine card this year. Another heart broken.

Maybe it’s the single woman who has longed for someone good and has only found bad apples. Or a single man who has kept himself as pure as he can who feels like he waits in vain.

Valentine’s Day is one of the happiest observances of all, but peel back the layers of lives and you’ll find something else. Deep inside is a longing. Maybe frustration. Desire. Disappointment squared.

All of this is good to recognize. The longing and desire and frustration point to something true and real. We were built for relationships. We were created to live in harmony with others and ourselves. We were made uniquely human and the heart remains restless until it discovers what it has always longed for.

And in the process, a lot of us get wrapped around light poles and our hearts get torn apart and crinkled.

No matter how badly misshapen your heart may be, it is still a heart. It is still beating. And if it can hurt, if it is in pain, that means there’s hope. Even wrapped around a light pole outside an adult bookstore there is still hope.

3 comments:

Ck said...

Excellent post!
You touched the hearts of many and encouraged at the same time...speaking the "truth in love".
I needed that - I am the single woman (28) who has kept myself as pure as I can with Christs help (never been kissed, a virgin, never dated, etc.) and at times - more so lately - feel as though my wait is in vain. But God continues to encourage me and today - he used you. :-) Thank you!
Ck

Mrs.B said...

Amen.

Kiki said...

This made me cry today...hits WAY too close to home with my daughters right now.