My bins are all full, but my house is full too. Despite my best efforts, there seems to be ‘stuff’ everywhere. And worse than this, the stuff symbolises memories, events and people. Many of these are good, but some are sad or poignant.
I have a number of black bags in the house, which I am categorising as being ‘ in transit’. They are no longer meant to be in the house, but the bin is full, so I wait for the bin lorry to come soon. ( even though I recycle what I can!)
This might all sound very trivial, but the decluttering symbolises my cry to God to cleanse my soul too. We have so many memories, sometimes that haunt us, and that we try to bury. But actually we need to take them out into the light, and to look at them, and ask God to heal us. Sometimes we need to forgive, or sometimes to ask forgiveness. And then to let them go. And it has to happen one memory at a time- such a painstaking process, but it is the only way to make space, and to find peace.
Readings from Ecclesiastes 3 figure largely in my life just now- there is a time for everything, amongst others, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
This seems to be a time of cleansing, of letting go, of making space. But it is painful. To make space means to let go of old ways and assumptions, and to embrace new ways forward. And the new way is not always clear, and it is easy to take a wrong turn. And then I have to forgive myself, and seek God’s strength to find the right path.
Every now and again, I catch a glimpse of what space and freedom feels like. It could be receiving an act of kindness or being understood, or a moment of peace. And it is such a revelation, a moment of integration, and of communion with God. Breathtaking and inspirational momentary solace. And then it is back to looking at the black bags again. They are on their way out- honest…….
Gracious God, in this season of Lent, we are more aware of our shortcomings, and of the darkness within. We confess our struggles once more, our desire to hang on to stuff from the past, because its familiarity brings comfort. Lord Jesus, show us what you desire of us this day. We trust that You still have a good purpose for our lives. Holy spirit, reveal to us the truth about ourselves, cleanse us from all that weighs us down, and heal our sorrow. Thankyou that You understand our frustration, for letting go is such slow and painful work. May we have a loving community around us, to support us in our healing process, Amen