Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Creative Ways to Avoid Amnesia

I've been reading and soaking up Ann Voskamp's 1,000 Gifts book. The other day I pondered over the chapter about defining blessings and curses. And I thought about how glad I am to find someone else who admits to being like an amnesiac Israelite.

When I was a kid, I used to wonder how they could forget God's instructions and promises so easily. Now I know. I am them.

One moment, I remember God's faithfulness and think that finally I have grasped joy and peace and truth. And the next minute I'm wallowing in despair and stuck in hatred and unforgiveness and shame. Apparently, God knows my propensity to forget and has given me what may be the most creative way to temporarily remember.

I broke or bruised my tailbone the other day when landing at the bottom of a very fun and fast slide in the playground area at a local apple orchard. Five days later, I still have to sit and move in ways that are quite similar to how I had to move when I suffered a traumatic birth injury. It is no picnic, and today especially has been painful. So I emailed the orchard and suggested that maybe they change the landing a bit. They emailed back right away and called me, wanting to bend over backwards to make me happy. I think perhaps they were worried I would sue or be really angry. But I'm not. It was fun to give them grace. Really fun. Perhaps it was because they weren't expecting it. Whatever the case, it was a great feeling to let go of any frustration with the situation and let them completely off the hook, not even taking them up on their offer to give me a gift certificate. The feeling was so great and wonderful that I felt full of sweetness.

My only frustration is that the pain is very similar to what I struggled with when my son was born, and I know a bruised or broken tailbone can take months to heal and needs the help of physiotherapy to fully heal (at least for me with my prior injury). It seemed almost like a "curse". How could it be a blessing? I mean, really.

Awhile later it hit me. God has a funny sense of humor. It actually IS a blessing.

Every single time I move, the pain can be a reminder to snap me out of my amnesia and forgetfulness. The pain can remind me of this instance where I chose to show grace, where I chose to let go. Where I chose not to hate or be angry or vengeful.

Sure, it's just a sore bum. And the areas where I'm most prone to show hate and anger and not let go are a lot more serious than a simple accident at an apple orchard. But the same principle applies.

That person who is making my community life hard? Forgive him. The loss of last year and the struggle to accept that our community looks different? Let go and just love with no expectations. The other heartaches I keep inside that continually remind me that we are on this side of Heaven and not yet Home? Yes, even those get laid down on a daily basis. Sometimes even a moment by moment basis.

And when I give up the right to bitterness, sweetness comes trickling in. If only I can remember to do that.

Apparently, God gifted me with what amounts to a broken bum to help me remember that.

So what delightful gift has He given you lately? You know, the kind that you at first wanted to return as all wrong for you? Could it really be a gift after all?

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