For many years I have been working with a Christian counselor to open myself and my past up to God’s healing. It has been a long painful road and just when I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am plunged into another mile of darkness as we uncover yet another layer of festering feelings and wounded memories. Today, my emotions are raw and my vulnerability is at the mercy of the world. Sometimes the sorrow is so heavy in my heart, my lungs won’t expand and I can’t breathe. Silent tears well up from the depth of my soul and stream down my face and the only thing worse than that is when I’m so numb I can’t cry at all. Yet, even in this dark place, I am at peace because I know that God is with me, healing me, carrying me through to an unimaginably beautiful garden on the other side of this pain. God brings small glimpses of light and joy into this darkness: the unrestrained love of friend’s golden retrievers, a friend who sat with me when I couldn’t bear to be alone, a few moments of laughter with a volunteer, and the anticipation of a weekend with my Godsister - all treasured gems found in the cave of despair.
When Jesus asked Philip “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” he already knew what he had in mind to do but Philip couldn’t see past the direct question – Where shall we BUY bread? – To search for heavenly answers. He looked at it from a human perspective and told Jesus it was impossible to buy enough bread to satisfy the large crowd. This tells me that Jesus is not confined to human options or ability and that if my answer is “it’s impossible” than all the more, Jesus is the answer. I can’t change my past. I am never going to look back and see a happy childhood. I am never going to wake up to a world where my first marriage was a beautiful thing. But Jesus can take the pain from the memories and heal the open wounds of my past.
Andrew was able to find a very small amount of food, enough for a small boy, and offered it to the Lord not knowing how or if it would help. Jesus took the small offering and told them to ready the people to eat. To apply this to my own life, I need to offer whatever I have, however small or insignificant in my eyes, to the Lord and then be expectant that his power will make miraculous things happen. My life isn’t much to offer, but as I do I know that he will do more with it than I could ever image (and believe me – I have an incredible imagination.)
About the pictures:
North Park (August 2009)