Saturday, November 23, 2013

What do you do?

The following is me working out something I wrestled with last night.

What do you do when someone you love is running from everything good? 

When no matter what you do or say, they still run. Throwing off all inhibitions, running, tripping, and tumbling straight into the arms of destruction and pain

What do you do when people you love climb and jump straight off the guardrail down into deep ravines even as the screams that have torn your throat to shreds are echoing after them? What do you do when someone you love snatches a vial of poison after being told of the dangers and swallows it whole simply because it looks pretty and they want it? 

I don't know.

I'm fumbling around trying to figure this out, making a whole long list of my own mistakes, failure, and follibles as I live and walk this out. Thank you God for grace.


To know what would have happened...isn't that what we all want. After a bad decision is made, whether it's a mistake or a conscious decision to step off into a ditch, at some point we sit in the rubble and wonder,

"What if?"

What if I hadn't hurt that person? What if I hadn't said those words? What if I hadn't taken that one turn?

It's so easy in those moments to give up.

When you look back at years of mess and long litanies of mistakes hardening in the unforgiving concrete of time, it's so tempting to just say, "To hell with it all," and run wild, etching more mistakes into the permanence of life and pouring muck over the whole thing.

The voices whisper and you believe every carefully crafted lie they slip to you, the cadence of their rhetoric becomes your anthem. And soon they don't even need to say anything, for you are telling the lies to yourself.

"I've made too many mistakes, I'll never be good enough, I'll never make anyone happy and I can never go home, it's too late."

Don't listen to them. You always have a choice, there is always enough room to turn around and walk back up. For you are never too deep, never too far gone; you are never beyond the reach of amazing grace.

There are always three choices we have when we find ourselves in the deep ravines on the side of the road.

1. Toss our heads, harden our hearts, and revel in the madness. Go ever deeper into the depths of the canyons weaving even more pain into our lives and the people around us, especially those who love us. Marble hearts don't feel as much pain.

2. Lay down and never get up, acquiesce to the pain. How you do it doesn't really matter, turn on your back to stare at the sun and tell yourself there is no hope, lay on your stomach trying to drown yourself in the filthy mud, or curl into a fetal position berating yourself for every bad decision; doesn't matter how you do it, you're not going anywhere.

3. Fight. Struggle. Wrestle with the demons, dig up then toss into the fire all the lies that have wound their choking roots around your soul. Move toward that pinpoint of light, no matter how painstakingly slow it is. Grapple and strain. It's not easy, it's never easy, but I promise it's worth it. Ever further up and further in.

The whole broken and fractured world is full of sad chapters and now you and I have a sad chapter in our stories; but do not give up, for love is shining through the cracks, making all things new.

Slowly grace turns pain into something beautiful, for nothing is ever wasted. Redemption has come.

The good news is that we live in a world that, though broken, is still shot through with love. Every sadness, every hurt is redeemable. Which is why we need not pretend that hurt and sadness don’t exist. -Jonathan Rogers

“But what would have been the good?"
Aslan said nothing.
"You mean," said Lucy rather faintly, "that it would have turned out all right – somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?"
"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."
"Oh dear," said Lucy.
"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me – what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”
― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia

We can never know what might have happened, but let us, along with Lucy get up and follow the Lion  to find out what will happen. Let us move together, always and ever; further up and further in.

Take courage dear heart, we are all between the paws of the true Aslan now.

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