Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CP 161 A very wet towel

CP 161 A very wet towel

Over the years I’ve often reflected on the fact that most days at least 5 boys in our family would use the same bathwater as dad. Recently I found myself musing over the other reality which accompanied that bath ritual. Unless my memory deceives me, there was only one towel! Dad used it first, then brother 1, brother 2, 3, 4, and 5… Imagine! Bath-user no.6 might just as well have washed himself down using the towel without even bothering the bath. It seems yuk today. Back then it was normal. But here’s my point for this blog. Just because that’s how it was then, it doesn’t have to be that way now.

All of us have such a family ‘history’. It’s about the way we handled hygiene, (including sunshine soap for everything!), the foods we ate and how we cooked them, (thinking among other things of the kitchen stove and cooking margarine!), the sorts of chemicals used as garden sprays, (DDT), the circumstances of our play, the way sleeping arrangements were handled, and the dunny arrangements out the back, (thinking of carefully torn newspaper on a nail).

And who had central heating or insulation in the roof? It’s also about getting a kick up the bum when naughty, or a spanking when we really crossed a parent’s line. For some of us there was kerosene lighting, a fridge with ice-blocks, bread delivered by horse and cart, no car and no phone. The circumstances of our lives played a fair part in who we were and who we became.

But I repeat; just because that’s how it was, doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be today. (An aside…I do understand that someone who experienced the famine in the years immediately after WWII might draw great comfort from having a fullish sack of spuds in the pantry at any time.)

Our “other histories”.

All of us have other childhood histories. Things that happened, or which we perceived to have happened. And we responded to them internally. Events and circumstances which caused fear and uncertainty. Feeling unprotected, abandoned or exposed. Being abused or bullied. Watching parents fight. Death of a sibling. A life-changing accident. Always feeling insecure and shaky. Even paralysed by some situations.

Seeing terrible injustice, or being on the receiving end of it generates anger and bitterness. Unfair treatment compared to others. A parent has a favourite child and it is not you. Undeserved punishments. Betrayals. You grow up with rage and hatred and unforgiveness as normal.

You got the message you’re a failure. Someone is disappointed in you, you couldn’t or didn’t live up to expectations, your very best was inadequate, you did something shameful, or unforgiveable. You think yourself dirty, unworthy, undeserving, always feeling guilty. You feel ashamed when you can’t even explain why.

The older I get the more I am convinced that almost everyone I know has such a history, and they are trapped by it. We are stuck-fast, and we connect that ‘stuck-fastness’ with what happened. Allow me to tell you a truth. Your imprisonment is not from what happened as much as it is about how you responded to what happened. It is always our inner, heart response, which comes from that part of us where we are who we are, that determines how life will be for us. Another truth is called for…

And here it is. There is freedom to change wherever Jesus Christ gets a hearing! You do not need to be bound by the past of your inner spirit. I promise you that if Jesus were to meet with you face to face he would not leave you in your frozen, hardened state. Still does it today you know. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is alive. Read and digest what he says to you and to me:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

I’ve seen it happen, hundreds of times. He did it then, still does it now. He’s done it for me. He wants to do it for you. Do yourself a favour and go ask him for the rest which is truly rest.

Bless you heaps in Jesus the Christ.

Fred

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on in your comments! There are secular programs that see to address the same issues that you have identified but, from what I have seen, the participant's require a repeated (continuous?) "treatment" to address the person's issues with the past. The fantastic thing is that Jesus has dealt with all our sins (and issues), once and for all if we only truly accept His blessings. He is the true Healer.

9:09 PM  

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