Let Go And Say Hello To An Old Friend!
Letting go has never been easy. But holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.
Not long ago I talked about “Let Go, Let God” and I wanted to expand on that thought a bit. And in doing so, I am drawn to remember the nightclub fire that took place in Brazil just over 2 years ago, and which killed almost 240 people, and severely injured nearly 100 more… the majority of them students from one school. Now, as terrible as the loss of life was, today I am thinking more in terms of the survivors.___Now if you are a person of true faith, you know in your heart that the time of pain and agony suffered by the lost is at an end. You know they are now held in the love and safety of the arms of the Almighty. Yes, that may be small comfort today for those they leave behind and who are just beginning to mourn their loved ones and a life forever changed by the absence of those they love. But it is the physical, mental and emotional lives of the survivors, many of whom have suffered horrible burns, who will bear forever more, a physical reminder of the day that they can never be rid of! They are the ones who look into the mirror at a body changed by scars and wounds and even, perhaps, a lifetime of physical pain! And once they pass beyond the stages of anger, denial, bargaining, and depression, it will likely be harder to reach the point of acceptance because to do so means looking in that mirror one last time and saying goodbye forever to the person they once were and saying hello to a stranger they have yet to really know and understand!___If the stages I mentioned seem vaguely familiar it is because they are the very same stages those who are dying must pass through, and for that matter, those the dying leave behind, as well. However, the difference is that, while life is changed for all of these people, those who bear the scars of a “disfigurement”, especially when it comes upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, must learn to like and love themselves all over again! And when we are used to a particular appearance and body image, being forever changed is a “life altering” experience.___Such “life altering” experiences can refer to any major change of self such as an amputation or a mastectomy or even a paralysis due to accident or illness. And that is one that I can wholly commiserate with, having suffered from a paralysis as the result of a neurological disease, myself. Yes, I have recovered, through hard work and medication and therapy, although I will never feel my legs again. But it was the looks and preconceived notions I elicited from others, especially strangers, that drove me to want to hide myself away from the prying eyes that seemed somehow compelled to stare at me.___I was incredibly lucky. I had a loving and devoted support system who continued to validate my worth, especially during the times when I could not see it myself. But not everyone is as lucky as I was and these are the ones that must turn to another support system to help them rediscover their worth! I once read in a mentoring publication the following: God makes each one of us with an ability; society creates the “dis”. So often, society seems to need to apply a “dis” label to someone in the misguided belief that this will automatically make them both know and acknowledge what “caste” they belong to. But, rather than somehow diminishing the one it was aimed toward, labels only diminish the one casting the aspersions in the first place. Fortunately for man, God sees no such distinction nor did his son, Jesus Christ.___There are two phrases that came from the mouth of Christ himself when men wanted to stone the adulteress, which have endured the test of time. Both “let him who is without sin, cast the first stone” (John 8:7) and “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11) have found their way into common usage, which reminds us that we are all created equally in His eyes, whether scarred somehow, in body or mind. And if the Bible can tell us about our worth as often as it does (from Psalm 139:13-14 ESV, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” to Luke 17:3-4 ESV “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”), why do we not see it for ourselves? We need only turn God’s faith in us inward and regain the faith and love we must have within ourselves! And when we are changed on the outside, there is one thing that never changes…our heart and our soul. And it is these two things, after all, that are the measure of a person! And when we bid the old physical us goodbye, we really are saying hello to an old friend!
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Psalm 24:3-5 ESV
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