I was driving in to work today with the radio on as always, pondering the deep mysteries of the world as I listened to ESPN radio when I noticed something different about my usual talk radio hosts. They were having a very serious conversation about what happened on this day, September 11 in our country. How that day, a day we all will forever remember, changed and affected us as individuals and as a country. I immediately remembered the exact place I was working that day the planes struck the twin towers. I remember the emotions, the faces of the terror stricken people running from the wall of smoke in the streets of NY. As the memories continued I could physically feel the emotions of that day again.
Like a residue from the past…
I wondered how much more intense that residue would be for those who lost loved ones, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends. I thought of how real that residue still is for the families of the brave rescue workers who gave their lives that day. I thought how real that residue still remains upon the hearts and minds of the families of all those brave soldiers in our military who have given their lives since. It’s a residue of pain and memory that those families, us as a nation and myself will never forget.
As I thought and prayed for all the people who continue to deal with this pain and memory caused by such a tragic event I was struck by how familiar this residue felt. I had a moment of deja-vu, a feeling that this feeling had been felt before, had been experienced before. Pain, loss, grief, wounds from a past come back to be reality in the future all over again. See that’s the thing about residue, it’s hard to get rid of, it’s always there just under the service. The lives we live, the experiences and trauma, joys and sorrow all remain, memorials of the life we have lived.
My first reaction to this feeling is one of negativity, I don’t like to remember, to feel what I felt before. It’s hard and honestly I would just rather forget those kind of emotions and feelings. I think we all have been there haven’t we? In fact I think we respond so strongly to the residue of things before that often they continue to hold us hostage. Fear grips us and keeps us from trusting again, keeps us from moving forward. The residue of pain becomes a constant reminder of our brokenness. But what if God had in mind to redeem our residue for His good. What if the residue of our past, our experiences of pain and wounding and grief, could be used for an altogether different purpose?
What if God wants to use the residue of your past to be a guidepost of hope and healing for others. What if God wants to come and bring healing and hope to your life and then use all that you have been through as a bridge for others to walk over to receive there own healing? My prayer today is that God would show me how to use the residue of my past not as a negative reminder of what happened there but as a beacon of light and hope that points to a God who was there and is here now as healer and lover of my soul, my mended, patchwork, beautiful mess of a soul!
I still remember the day like yesterday. The towers fell, people, brave people perished and God was there, He is still here, He will always be here. Making our brokenness whole, healing and redeeming the pain that threatens to destroy us and then in His glorious power using it to proclaim His amazing love to others who desperately need what He continues to offer!
Believing great things are ahead!