My bare feet sink satisfyingly in the wet sand along the sea edge, small waves tickling my ankles with each step. The ocean vista is beautiful to gaze upon but I find my attention drawn back to what is at my feet. Ordinary pebbles and rocks glow like rich jewels through a watery prism while shadows of driftwood and seaweed float in the shallows.
An outcrop of larger boulders halts my progress down the beach, diverting me to another favorite seaside activity. Just where the sea meets the sand I firmly grasp a plate-sized rock, flip it over and watch in delight as at least a dozen little crabs scurry for cover. They are vulnerable creatures without their sheltering rock. Their tiny crustacean instinct for survival sends them running for new protection. I pick one up to feel it tickle across my palm in its comedic sidewise gait. It drops from my hand to the sand, disappearing beneath another rock like its fellow crabs and it is as if they were never there. But I know beneath the next rock there will be more hiding.
There are times in my life when God has lifted the rock on a myriad of wounding memories I’ve long buried in the sands of my past, sending them scuttling for cover from the light of His omniscient eye. I don’t want to look at those memories. They still retain a distant whiff of their ability to wound and sadden and grieve, so I would rather they stay hidden and I get on with my present life. But there they are, waving their pincers at me …
My big, handsome sailor father passed out in an alcoholic stupor while a six year old cries herself to sleep.
A beautiful violet graduation gown pushed to the back of a closet, worn a few hours then discarded when I couldn’t face going alone.
Sitting in my car outside a lawyer’s office, trying to summon the courage to go in and seal the dissolution of my marriage which has succumbed to a slow, agonizing death, one betrayal at a time.
Can’t these wounds stay hidden in the dark, stuffed under a rock where I don’t have to see them? I’ve moved on, made a fresh start, built a new life. But then there is that gentle nudge, that insistent tug on my spirit. It’s time. Time to flip over the rock and let the Light of the world shine on the past: reveal, disempower, dwindle hurts until they hurt no more.
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.
He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. Job 12: 13 & 22 NIV
When God shines the light of His love on the wounds of my past, they loose their potency. How do the wounds inflicted by sinful men stand a chance in the light of so great a love? Love like a mighty ocean sweeps clean the dark blots of pain and sorrow. They are absorbed into the limitless love of a limitless God.
Memories of sorrowful times will never be forgotten, but the pain has long ago dissolved. What is left is evidence of God’s faithfulness, provision, comfort and strength which carried me through. Someday every tear will be wiped from my eyes, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:4). The final rock will be flipped and all the scuttling little creatures of my past will be gone. Hallelujah.