Pathway To Solitude
Painting by Elizabeth Benson
Human Complexity And Healing
Any person is a complex creature with many sides. We can be very aware of the surface level of our lives, but the deep inner hurts we try to hide even from ourselves. We place deep within our subconscious those things we cannot, or will not, deal with. When the mind can no longer contain the pain, the hurts, the anxieties we store there, the body begins to react with unrest, confusion, and medical problems.
Exhaustion, depression, despondency - such things seem to hold our whole physical being captive. Nowhere does there seem to be any hope - neither in other people, nor in things. At such times, we may find ourselves drawing away from others, feeling we can no longer control our emotions and worried that our pain will soon become visible to others. Even our self-worth is called into question; we may begin thinking of ourselves as having no value. That is a terrible thing, for we then forget our own beauty.
At such times, the pain affects our whole selves - physical, emotional and spiritual. No part is immune, and all feels fragmented. We no longer find comfort in knowing who we are, no excitement in knowing what we are called to be.
Perhaps, at such times, it is good for us to remember that our lives are called to be soil for the seeds of God's gifts, the seeds of the Kingdom, to take root and grow. In such soil, we know that the breaking up of the clumps of earth allows the seeds maximum support and nourishment. Sometimes much time is needed to prepare the soil. The farmer's rake doesn't just go over the earth once; each stroke of the rake allows more and more of the earth's surface to be exposed to the light and the air.
So it is with us, if we allow our times and areas of brokenness to be opened to the Lord. It is only with deep trust in his love that we can allow those dark parts of our lives to be open to the light and air of day once more. Just a single shaft of light in the darkness is enough to let us know that there is Someone there waiting with us, hurting with us, healing us.
In healing, God's love becomes for us strength and peace, mercy and compassion. We begin to realize that God loves us not for what we are, or will be, not for what we can or cannot do, but simply because He is Love. From the beginning of time it has been His desire to give us this perfect gift: the gift of love.
Jesus has planted a crop of love among us, to be gathered like so many flowers and cast to the four winds, so that new crops of love might grow to the ends of the earth. As Jesus' own brokenness of the Cross and the shedding of His blood brought us healing and salvation, so our own brokenness and cross can bring to others a witness and invitation to His healing.
~~ Anne T. Six