Monday, September 17, 2012


The single greatest thing you can ever be in life is busted.  Caught in the act.  I firmly believe that.

There is no greater thing you can do for anyone - or that anyone can do for you - than to speak truth into a life that's tangling itself into some wicked mess that is less than all you ought to be.  I literally owe my life to people who have busted me.

The heart that is ensnared is the heart that is running.  If it wasn't running, it would have seen the trap. But you were running, and all of a sudden, you're caught up in this pain that isn't the story you want to tell and isn't the story you should be telling.  Your heart is standing here, clutched in these claws, and you almost feel obligated to tell this story because it's this thing that's bigger than you that's caught you in a weak moment when you had no choice but to run - when you had no inkling but to run, no energy but to run - and now you're snared and you're telling this story of caught and what you're not saying are the words that would set you free.

All it takes to turn it all around is for someone to look you straight in the eye, take hold of your raw heart with a strong hand through all the ropes and the spears and the bondage, and unimpressedly say (forgive my language), "Bullhonky."

Bullhonky.  (You may have another word for it.)

It's one simple word that says, "whatever.  I see through the act and whatever this is, this isn't truth.  So let's get to it."  It's an accusation.  It's also, however, an invitation.

I know this because there's a giant hole in the ozone layer due to the excessive amount of bullhonky I excreted through my tougher years.  I'm a girl who grew up tough because I always believed I had to be.  I had a tough exterior that turned a cold shoulder to the world and arrogantly stood in its own excrement and declared that it didn't need anybody or anything or any hope.  As years went by, I got tougher and tougher but there was this growing soft place inside of me that ached so deeply because it didn't want to have to be this way, and yet this was the story that my heart was so unwillingly wrapped up in and that in some odd way, I felt like the world was requiring me to live that as truth.  So I was playing this role that I thought I had to be playing, that came so naturally to a heart in bondage, and everyone was just ok with that.  Myself, I suppose, included.

I was in the shadows.  I mean, this was a dark place, but I was also living as a shadow because there was this piece of me that wouldn't die, this place in my heart that wanted to believe this wouldn't have to be my story forever...and yet it was also a place that would never have dared to not play the role assigned to me by circumstance and life.  So you kind of - I kind of - got trapped in this victimology that was fact, but it was not truth.  It was bullhonky.

It took one, then two, then a handful, then a dozen of people who I thought barely knew me, who loved me entirely too much to let my heart stay snared, to invite me to something more.  And it wasn't pleasant.

It took one, then two, then a handful, then a dozen of people who loved me enough to look right at my wounded (and wounding) words, my masking behavior, my too-tough exterior that was so paper-thin flimsy it's almost laughable looking back...and boldly declare, BULLHONKY.

Then my heart rebelled.  It stared them in the eyes and turned cold.  If anything, it became more distant, more trapped, more pained by the story that held it.  I could look these people in the face and curse them out, look in the mirror and curse out this girl, turn my energies into pain and hurt and increasing the violence in my own world and my own life.  I would yell and scream and cuss and threaten and get physically agitated with these people, and from the fullness of their love, they would look at me and calmly assert, bullhonky.

We don't buy it, they said.  And you don't get to scare us away.

There are so many of us living bullhonky.  There are so many of us trapped in stories that our hearts don't want to tell, but for all the bondage and the way they're wrapped so tightly around us, we can't see how to say anything else.  I've got a friend right now who's going through a difficult time and he's turning his back.  Turning back to old ways and choosing a path to destruction, and it's painful to watch him in this place.  Painful because I know that for all the hurt, he's got this raw place, too.  This tender place that's thirsty for mercy.

As he's turning his back, I can't help but think that the absolute best thing that could happen to him would be busted.  As he turns his back, someone needs to love him enough to turn him in.  Bust him for what he's doing first, because the best place for him to be is bounded by love - even if that love looks like the physical bondage of a jail cell.  I've been bounded by love that looks like bondage - something so simple as the physical bondage of someone who has dared enough to hold me and that won't let go even as I'm screaming that I don't need you to rescue me, I don't need you to love me.  What I need you to do is...well, I don't talk like that any more.  But it rhymes with "duck cough."  (I'm not entirely proud of my tougher days.)  But it was the greatest thing for me because from there, I couldn't run.

You've got to be busted and put in a place where you can't run any more.  If you aren't running, you don't stumble into the trap.  And then you've got to have someone who loves you enough to look in your heart and go after it so that at the very least, you can touch it.  You've got to have someone who's not going to be scared off, no matter how big and mean you look or how loud or violent you get.  You've got to have someone who loves you enough to stand there looking into your eyes and have only one conclusion: bullhonky.

And then the invitation:

Because what busting someone does - calling them on their bullhonky - it invites them to choose.  It takes away for a minute the burden of the bondage and invites them to touch the tender place in their own heart that they feel like has been sucked up by this story that they never wanted to tell.  You call them on their falsehood, and for a minute, they get to choose.  To keep telling this story that caught them out of nowhere when they were running...or to stop running and tell the story of their heart.  And I think we've got to keep calling them on it until they choose their heart.

Otherwise, we're giving up not just on someone we loved enough to get involved in the first place, but we're giving up on love itself.  Now, that's silly: love wins.

The greatest thing you can be in your life is busted.  And the greatest thing you can do for someone else is to bust them.  Persist and pursue them and tell them, "I'm bought in to you living sold out to something greater than this pain."

I'm bought into grace.  I'm bought into love.  And I'm bought into an invitation that starts with the simple truth that you and I both know: bullhonky.

You're busted.  It's the best thing that will ever happen to you.


  1. Good truth here. "The heart that is ensnared is the heart that is running." So true.

    The truth hurts BUT the truth heals, doesn't it?

    1. You're very right. Nobody ever promised the truth would be easy (and we know that it isn't), but we all need as much of it as we can get. And we ought to be willing to give as much of it as we've got to one another.