It may not run deep. It may not run wide. Sometimes it doesn’t run at all, forming little pools where scum builds up and swirls around from the wind. At other times the rocks are uncovered, revealing a bed of slimy moss. And yet, when it runs, it runs fast. Sometimes after the spring thaw, after the darkness of winter, it runs so fast it can sweep you away. Just like our memories. Just like our dark, cold buried thoughts.
It’s not really life in the fast lane. It’s life in the past lane. And sometimes, it’s a race for survival. It moves forward, then it retreats. But it’s always moving.
I had a conversation recently with a friend about individuals having to “go back” – go back to the past. He expressed not understanding why people need to – especially after they have found Hope in Christ. He said he has never had to go back.
But in our case, our trauma – our grief – our past lane – is after Christ. It happened in the name of Christ.
It is difficult to explain to those who have not experienced trauma, or who have not yet recognized their trauma, that like grief, it is cyclical. We didn’t recognize it for many years either. It was buried. It was buried deep. At least for me. And yet it came out every day – in flashbacks, and anger, in voices, and an obsessions to keep me busy. Keep busy. Keep busy. Don’t stop. Don’t think. Don’t feel. Keep moving. Keep working. Find a new thing to do. Don’t stop moving. Stay hidden.
Hidden in positive confessions and Christian cliches. It was hidden in shame. To see it for what it was would be a “lack of thankfulness for our life in Christ.” When someone dies – no matter how – no matter the age – if they are with Christ, we rejoice. End of story.
We survive the race. One day at a time. One memory at a time. One dream at a time. We survive because of the Hope that is within us. Hope in something and Someone who is bigger than us.
We survive to help others. We are touched with the same infirmities – our wounds become the tattoos of His scars. Our pain becomes the evidence of His grace in our lives.
We survive to love. And it makes us stronger. More compassionate. It makes the day brighter. The night skies are more starry. It makes love more valued and laughter ring like crystal.
David Grubb, I love you. You have traveled the past lane by my side, and together we see heaven.