I BELIEVE THAT it is God’s nature to heal, that is, to continue creating us to be the unique persons God intends. When we are sick; when disaster strikes; when we are buffeted by betrayal, tragedy, abuse, or our own sin; when we are oppressed by distorted social systems, God’s desire is to redeem, transform, and make new. We are saved, redeemed, and born again not just once but repeatedly throughout our lives as we are invited to grow in grace. This growth continues whether we are old or young, renegade or saintly, overtly suffering or feeling pretty well. We can trust that God is always inviting us to the next step in our growth and healing, even at death. At every stage, age, and circumstance in our lives, God nudges us to grow and change.
– Tilda Norberg
Gathered Together: Creating Personal Liturgies for Healing and Transformation
When I saw this picture of Gareth, the first thing that came to my mind was Ewan really looks like his big brother, and then the second one is how much Gareth has grown and changed.
The conversation in the car after school was noteworthy, as we discussed about an "incident" during breakfast and what Gareth was feeling during that time. It had a mix of some possible solutions to what both of us agree has become a problem. Later, we continued talking about relating to others especially the fiery bubbly spunky Elysia. And again, "stuff " had to surface so we can "process" it 🙂
Okay, I’m not trying too hard to do psychotherapy on my kid, but seriously, as humans we have lots of "stuff" that we accumulate. And the fact is even at this young age of 5plus years old, I noticed it’s already there and the affects of how we look at others and ourselves impacts our daily walk.
One thing I really appreciate since moving out of a "sweep under the carpet" kind of Christianity where we are expected to be picture perfect most of the time if not all the time, is that we can talk about our "downs" as well as the "ups." The temptation is to just dwell on the "lows" but it’s still better than ignoring and denying what is troubling us.
Now, once we can do that the danger is that it may "overwhelm" us and we could potentially drown in our "sorrows" because we suddenly don’t know how to deal with it. Apart some basic steps of letting go and acceptance, and re-framing our perspectives and what we pay attention to, which are all helpful. As a Christian, the "God" factor here as mentioned in the daily reflection today seems to me, brings an important ingredient to the mix. Someone who is not "swept under the carpet" or "drowned" by our "stuff", he is someone who redeems-transforms-makes new this downtrodden "us" who often feel powerless especially when we are in the pits. As we fall deeper and deeper, we fight harder to keep our selves afloat – we tense up, and it doesn’t help.
Strangely, the more we fight less, and let go, it’s as if we begin to float up and move up towards safety. Another way of saying it, the less we insist that we have got the solution, and trust that God is guiding somehow (note: I’m not saying this is easy), we are enabled to grow and change. I still look back in my own life of fumble and stumble and only now draw out the treasures of wisdom and insight, it always felt like "hell" when I was in it. There are still times where one will lapse into a kind of default hopeless mode. But after so many knocks those periods of lapses though still come, are shorter. Because, God has shown himself to have a pretty impressive track record when he’s dealing with those he loves and especially those who cling on to his hand which is not letting go even though we are so tempted to do so.
Lord have mercy!