C.S Lewis so aptly said:
“There are far, far better things ahead
than any we leave behind.”
Oh the deep wisdom. It’s true you know.
Not in simply the spiritual sense I believe Lewis refers to, but also…for myself, I’ve discovered there’s a kind of “better-ness” found in moving forward from past things — good or evil, which have the tendency to hold me hostage and weigh me down.
I guess I’ve lived a bit of a “detached” life.
I tried to remember exactly — at some point I may try again– but I moved roughly 15 times from my birth until I was married. These weren’t military moves or job relocations. These were the fractured moves of a fractured family steeped deeply in dysfunction and disaster.
Sometimes I got to take my belongings. Sometimes I didn’t. So I learned how to start over a lot, how to “make do” a lot and I learned how to let go…a lot.
So much so, that trusting and investing deeply has been a major hurdle for me to overcome in my 45 years. People-pleasing, mask-wearing and manipulation was my main “M.O” with the constant, hazy fear that the bottom was gonna drop out sooner or later and I’d be left alone or have to start over again.
That’s gone now.
The fear, manipulation, mask-wearing and neediness….gone. Even as I go, there’s still some wreckage and scarring to deal with but that’s ok, you know?
I was blind as a child. Not in the sense of eyesight, no. Blind in that emotionally and psychologically I really could not see things clearly. Raised blindly by blind people…most of whom either remain in that state or have died that way– the dysfunction, abandonment, sexual and physical abuse so clouded up my ability to see the difference between good and evil, love and hate, or truth from lies. It messed with the way I saw myself. It messed with the way I saw others too.
That’s also gone.
Healed most miraculously…
by dirt and spit. Sorta.
Scripture records this AWESOME moment about a man who was also born blind except he really was unable to see. Jesus and His disciples are passing by and they ask about the source of the man’s blindness — was it because he or his parents had sinned? You know…that’s a fair question. In my case…it was both. Ah… but Jesus answers them the same way I heard my answer:
He explains the blindness wasn’t due to sinful parents or the sinful self…the blindness was intended to evidence and show the glory of God. (see John 9 )
Then Jesus scoops up some dirt, spits in it and makes mud…yep, spit-and-dirt– mud. He places it on the blind man’s eyes and then tells him to go wash. Scripture says, “the man came home seeing.”
Jesus could have healed with a word. So…. why the mud? Why dirt and…. spit??
That dirt… organically created by the One standing there with all our dirt on His hands. Dirt spoken into existence by a word at the dawn of time then breath-crafted into a man.
The same dirt this man sat in and begged from all day, every day.
Sin-trampled dirt made only dirtier by the wickedness, pain and violence of the world
— mixed with the spit of God.
Dirt and spit… made holy and healing.
Isn’t that just like God though? Taking what we consider gross, and making it beautiful? To open our eyes with the dirt of this world.. the pain, the sorrow, the horror…and somehow, ever so gently use that “whatever” to heal and open our eyes, so we can “come home seeing” ? So we can turn around and just give glory to Him because that’s all we know to do anymore.
That once-blind man, now seeing, had a choice about whether or not he was going to testify and how. He had a choice about who’d get the credit…how he’d tell his story and who he’d share with.
So do I.
As Jesus said, what happened to me– and the things I chose to do — didn’t cause my blindness…because I was born just as blind as everyone else. But I don’t have to stay that way. People….God is in the redemption business and He stands ready to give back every key either given away…or stolen.
In spite of those things and through them… I can now see and give glory to God and testify to His miraculous healing power. I can choose to let God use that testimony to help others “come home seeing.”
So I yield.
I gladly surrender and release the pain of the past in order to allow it to become healing for the future. Because.. I am not a victim and I am not a survivor. I am forgiven…. and so are you.
Last year, my one-word-365 was “yield”. It still is.
I’m yielding still and leaning into learning how to be and live brave. What is brave anyway?
- Brave isn’t fearless but chooses to rise and walk anyway.
- Brave chooses to hold the hand of the One holding the answer to every question.
- Brave refuses to look away or back down from injustice on every level.
- Brave is accountable and asks for help when needed.
- Brave sometimes falls but gets back up because being brave is a process.
I haven’t always felt or have chosen to be brave.. I can’t say I really know how. But I’m ready to try and do whatever it takes for myself and others to find The Way, The Truth, and The Life so we can all in the end come home…. seeing.
*Updated on 8/23/2015