We all experience pain in our lives. And it never really quite goes away. Damage we received from our collisions with others. Losses. Memories of actions we unleashed and wish we could retrieve. The memories can crush us as much or more than the true moment of the event.
We wonder why we harbor these things. Didn’t we work at forgiveness, truly forgive the other, truly forgive ourselves? Must we do this work again? How long, and how many times must we suffer this brokenness? Why can’t we heal the one we know is hurt? Will we ever move on?
Sometimes it’s a dream where we rework the encounters, striving again with the feelings and remembered truth. We fail still once more to change the situation, to win or to make it right.
The landscape of creation aches along the broken faults of our lives. Sometimes a rift is torn. Sometimes a range heaves up. We moan audibly in an exhalation of the memory, a sound and a breath completely irrelevant to the air and the time and place that receive it. But we know what it is.
We cannot uncreate. We cannot undo the past, make it disappear, remove its effect from our lives. But we can, today and always, let it flow, let it move and twist and turn. Let it become the new thing that it will.
Breathe, moan, let it flow. Sometimes the hot lava of the volcano, sometimes the blue water of the fountain. It’s the flow that creates, whether it’s a glaring red-yellow stream that cools to the dark rock of a new mountain, or the water that carves a canyon in its flank on the return ride to the ocean.
Let it flow. A good river never quits. Water pushes up from the source. It picks up streams and sediments on its way. It spreads out and drops its dirt in the rich delta, only to rest in the sea, where the vast surface yields to the sun and air that return it once again to its beginning.
It’s the flow of life, the non-judging and continual cycle of movement and rest. When we try to step out of it, to stop it or avoid it instead of riding it, we are out of touch, we lose our connection, we become the dam that only temporarily, despite our struggle, stands in the way.
There is a river that flows beside the Tree of Life. It cleanses. It heals. It keeps moving, never fighting what it is. Drink the water. Ride the stream. Let it flow.
Scripture today from my friend, singer/songrwriter JD Martin:
Hear me, rock of ages
Let me hide myself in thee
Touch me, living waters
Let me drink from your flowing stream
© Two Trees in the Garden. Feel free to quote, as useful, with proper reference.
Jerry Kennell now provides spiritual direction by Skype. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.