Artwork by Nur El Youssef @pie.nur

Beirut, Lebanon

June 22, 2021

Dear reader,

When I was young, I looked up at the sky one day and glared at God. A simple gesture that I had hoped would set his beloved garden on fire. For all I knew, God had strong, mighty hands to build steady, warm houses for his children, but he chose to build me a broken one made of cobwebs and old bones. God had big ears to listen to his children but chose to ignore my voice no matter how high it echoed. Somewhere along the way, some messenger must have lost my letters and they were never delivered to heaven.

I glared at God, squinted at the sun, and kicked the earth beneath my feet. I wished the angels would come shooting down like stars. I wished Eden would fall into pieces; only then he’d know what it feels like to live among ruins… I screamed at the God who hid behind his clouds and never came for my rescue, as he had promised. Had he not rescued Jonah from the whale and Jeremiah from the cistern of Malkijah? 

The walls of my world were collapsing, but then… oh how I love those two words, “but then,” like a prologue to something beautiful, and beautiful he was indeed.

But then, God sent me an angel. He loved me just because. What faint light he had seen in me, I did not know. I looked like a picture that had been torn a million times then attempted to be put back together; a porcelain doll cracked at every edge, he loved me nevertheless. He tarried behind me always, I could see his reflection on glass, his shadow in picture frames. The sound of his heartbeats sent me to sleep as he bent over the edge of my bed; only then did I learn to turn the lights off. He held my entire world in the palms of his hands.

The word “father” fell off my lips ever so easily, it was impossible to believe that we were not related by blood. He loved me even when I fell down off my bike and was too stubborn to get up. He loved me more whenever I failed a test and decided to give up, and he loved me most whenever I tried to fight back his love. 

Perhaps my letters had made it to heaven after all. 

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