I seem to be moved by very small things of late.
Yesterday while on a trip to a worship event, Good Lookin’ and I stopped at a gas station to er, “use the facilities.” As I entered the ladies restroom, an elderly woman with a walker was making her way out of the handicapped stall and she looked somewhat troubled.
When I took the time to make eye contact with her and greet her, she remarked how glad she was the lights had come back on in the restroom. She said she had very suddenly been left in the dark and did not know why. Neither did she know what she’d done to make the lights come back on again! Oddly enough, she made a point of telling me she had gone back into the stall to flush the toilet.
I suggested that perhaps the lights were automatic and required movement to remain on and she shook her head and said she missed the old days when lights when on and off by the flip of a switch.
Control. I empathize.
Ya know, the last year of my life has been like that. I was just in the traces, taking care of business when, all of a sudden, the lights seemed to go out and I found myself in a dark place. I don’t know why or how–I just know the lights went out.
There’s something about unexpected darkness that forces you to become very aware of your frailties–your brittle bones, inflexible joints, and situational vulnerabilities. When you can’t see, you really get acquainted with who you are, where you are, and what you happen to be doing.
It’s like God shuts off the comfort of vision and forces you to really SEE who you are.
I don’t like it…but there is a payoff if you can just hang in there.
Because, in the end, the lights will come on again, illuminating your situation. But you won’t forget what you saw in the darkness and, if you are willing, you can allow the experience to change you. I’m finding it takes great courage and humility, but it sorta means something to me that God trusts me enough–BELIEVES in me enough to take away the light for a time so that I can face who I am and be changed by the experience.
Now that the lights are on again, I am PATENTLY aware of the fact I am battered and bruised as a result of feeling my way around in the dark, and I’m not real impressed by what I see in the mirror…but I have decided not to hide my wounds. Darkness is fraught with war and wounding. What I see in me at the moment isn’t pretty but neither is it permanent–this is just what healing looks like.
I think I have found hope again.
…Pardon me while I go back into that stall and flush.