W Is For “Who Will I Be?”

A howling beast lives within me though I may look much like a lamb. She longs to sit in the public square bellowing: “See my wounds! They did this to me! Evil people hurt me! Took everything from me! Shredded me! Look at what they’ve done!” The beast longs to attract passersby. She grasps their garments, tries to convince them to chorus her lament. She is filthy, angry, hungry to control so that she will be forever safe. I don’t like her. I don’t want to be her. But if not her, who will I be? I can’t lock the beast away. Once, I may have been just a lost lamb. Now, I am also beast. Answers will always include her. If I cannot find something of value through the beast, I will find nothing at all. The wounds that have shredded me must also be the fountains from which healing comes.

So much was torn away from me. I have so little left. But I want to have something. I want to be something. I want the tatters of my soul, of my identity to grow into something worth having. I want the beast to be transformed into something beautiful. So I offer the tiny bit I have as a young child offers weeds to his mother. I’m not a child. I know what weeds are — not much. I tell God, “I’m sorry I have only anger and hurt and terror to give You. I wish I had more. I wish I was brave and everything You have created me to be. But all I am is a shredded soul and Yours.”

He asks me, “Will you be an occasion for heaven to rejoice over the repentance of a lost sinner?”

“Huh?” He must be joking. Can the victim, lamb and beast, help those who wounded her? Perhaps. Perhaps not. God asks for my cooperation but doesn’t reveal the results; ours is a strictly “need to know” relationship. I do know, being an occasion isn’t just about those who wounded me. Sometimes it’s about allowing God to take my shreds and use them for someone else: another victim, another abuser, another who might choose evil but instead chooses the hard road of fighting their beasts. Being an occasion places something in my hands that I can give passersby. Their beasts may be tamer than mine. Then again, I may be much stronger, may have been given more aide. All that matters is I can let God do as He pleases with my shredded soul, no matter how much it hurts. This is worth more than my ease, my comfort, my life. This is really belonging to the Love of my life.

So I will be an occasion for repentance. And that makes me an occasion for hope. My beast’s howl may actually  become a song of joy, a thing of great beauty.


  1. Mama Lion here, to hug both that beast and the lamb equally, because the frightened and angry beast deserves love just as the innocent lamb does. My one and only tiger cub has her own inner beast to learn to tame, but it’s so hard when we can’t just MAKE the people we care about heal and feel loved unconditionally. I don’t know if there IS a way to make a wounded soul feel unconditional love from others, but I sure hope and pray there is. I hope you feel that love and that it soothes the savage beast within.

    I’m speaking like this as you are because using plain language is just too hard, too painful. I know. <3

    1. Thank you. You are so kind. “Loved As If” is the story of how I found healing when I thought pain was the cross I must carry. The savage beast is usually soothed and even when she’s not, she has a home now; she’s loved. I may not want to be her but I do love her. God bless you. Please come again.

  2. …I don’t think you need to “help” those who hurt you. I think you only need to try forgive (and then forget!) them, but I don’t know how that’s done. Forgiveness doesn’t come easily.

    1. I’ve learned forgiveness leaves me indebted to those who hurt me. Not in the sense that I would seek them out and welcome them into my life. Rather, I must pray for their healing, for their good. If I cannot, I don’t really forgive. But then, I can’t forgive. I can only ask God to work forgiveness in me. When He does, I want to pray for those who hurt me. It’s paradoxical and I’ve found it to be true. It’s one of His gifts.

      Thanks for stopping by. Please come again.

  3. I have such a beast within as well. I don’t let it out because on the occasions that I have, it has left quite a swath of destruction. People don’t like to hear the truth. It doesn’t really help to reveal it in most cases, at least not when one must deal with a family like mine.
    Still, the beast has valid points. I have been screwed over in more ways than one. She won’t forget that, even though I may sweep it under the rug to maintain the peace.

    1. Perhaps the biggest task of my life is learning to live with the beast without smothering her and without allowing her to destroy me. I’ll pray that your beast becomes a source of strength and beauty. God bless you.

Tell me what you think. Thanks.

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