Home 40 years ago.
There are ample opportunities to reflect in the work I’m presently doing. One location my work takes me to is my place of residence in 1975—a bygone era that is patchy by memory. As I drove into this area recently there was something incredibly emotional going on within me; a sort of giddy excitement because of the mysteries represented in the anticipated reuniting of me with my memories. Never does this drive become banal. It’s always filled with a mind in the eternality of the experienced past.
As I pulled up across the road, noting the house was for sale, I wondered if it was vacant. It was. Excitement built within me, because, to the onlooker, I had a reason to be there. I peered through the lounge room window, and could see through the bare room into the kitchen. The dimensions I could see made me wonder of the experiences I had with my brothers and parents in those spaces, a time that still seems vague amidst the clarity of certain things of that time—like the precious little box I had that I kept special things in, on my dresser. I remember the army uniform I got for my eighth birthday. I think of my youngest brother crawling around the house. I sense my mother preparing the evening meal. I recall the fright in me starting school mid-year in a foreign place, much colder and wetter than I was used to, having to make new friends. And then, back in the present moment, I realise afresh that over forty years have passed us.
An experience like this is a gift.
God has gifted the aged to portions of joy in the everyday of times that have passed.
The older we get the more precious and eternally mysterious is the past. We can no sooner travel back there than we can fast-forward time, or be in the heavenly realm with Jesus, until that is our time. Whatever we cannot touch is eternally significant—a distance all too far that evokes within our awareness something piquing wonder.
These experiences can only be enjoyed—or more accurately, are best enjoyed—when we’ve succumbed to the healing of Jesus through sojourning with our truth, past and present. Both dimensions of time perspective are crucial, for peace in the present is the indicator of the work we’ve done to reconcile the past in order that our future can be restored to us.
The older we get the less we may worry about the future; provisional on healing.
Healing tends toward us more power over fear, guilt, and shame. Then nothing can defeat us in the moment. The abundant life.
This abundant life is paradoxical. The more we realise we depend on God daily for healing, the less we struggle in this life. The more we understand that our identities depend on failure, the less failure worries us because we depend on God. The weaker we seem, the stronger we actually are. The more we realise we’re failures without Jesus, the realer He makes us, so fear, shame, and guilt no longer drive us.
Healed emotions beget healed emotions, and the best of this is the embracing of all emotion with courage, energised by faith. The meeting of reality without contrivance.
That’s freedom. The gospel promise of the abundant life. It’s real.
Peace in the present indicates we’ve reconciled our past by faith so our future/hope may be restored to us for love.
Wander the golden path of healed emotions. If that isn’t within your capacity right now, promise yourself to your journey with Jesus; through surrender, the sweet embracement of your vulnerability. Jesus takes us there. It’s what we were born for.
Wrestling with ugly emotions warrants healing that feels like gladness and gratitude for what we had earlier endured.
Until next time, yours in The Lord,