When we’ve returned from where or whom we’ve departed, why the surprise?
Did we think that life would pause and hearts stand still?
Or what of memories made, mountains climbed or new things birthed without us?
To depart is our choice. But count deep within ourselves what we depart from when we leave.
In the words of Robert Frost…
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
And I would add… it’s ok! Decide if your arms will open in welcoming back but do not, do not, do not stop living. Life is too short to put on pause.
We fight to get back what used to be. We work to make things as they were. But sometimes the reality is that what was, no longer is and will never be again. And not until we say goodbye can we say hello.
And so the goodbye is spoken. With the heartache of departure the tears flow. But hope. Hope that in the doorframe of hello…you are once again united.
I’ve found, at times, it takes more strength to walk away then it does to stay, more will power to be silent than to speak, more energy to not do instead of do.
I’ve found that great fear. That if I had to step away for a time, would I return only to discover how easy it was to be forgotten?
After all, we are by nature a forgetful bunch. Always looking to what’s new and improved. The hope always being in the younger while neglecting the stories of the old. What are we taught? You’re only as good as your last…?
And so the great fear emerges and we step not away. To the detriment of our beings we stay. Even when our spirits cry for the desert places and hidden caves of replenishing we turn a deaf ear. Because to be forgotten by those you loved so dearly and gave so much to would bring a reality too painful for the heart.
And what is that reality? That upon our return from this time away the masses will not be standing with flags and cheers and parades of our return. But one or two or maybe three will be sitting on lawn chairs, heated from the days work, with iced tea in big yellow cups saying, “Sit down! We saved your chair. Let’s share our stories of when you were away and hear the plans of what is to come. We saved your chair for it is fitted for you and we did not forget.”
We give the gifts He’s given us with an open heart and open hands. Remembering that Jesus healed the ten, only one came back and He didn’t chase after the nine.
As I walked by each one they dove or sank back in the water. Heads disappearing in fear.
One by one as I journeyed around the lake they would disappear. It wasn’t as I approached. Wasn’t when I was upon them. These turtle would swim away after I had passed.
What alarmed them so? What triggered their fears to run from the warmth of the sun they basked in?
Then one turtle didn’t dive. It stayed floating with its head above water as I passed by. Seemingly no alarms or worries. What was difference?
Each turtle wouldn’t flee as I came upon them but when my shadow touched them then panic arose. And that one turtle that stayed afloat? It never felt my shadow.
Why would a shadow cause such fear? A shadow holds no bone nor marrow nor flesh. A shadow holds no strength nor life. It is but a shadow. And in this case it was a shadow of what was. What had been. What was passed.
What shadows do we run from? What truth or substance do these shadows hold? They are but shadows of what was and is no longer. They hold not bone nor marrow nor flesh. They hold no strength nor life.
These shadows of our past. Shadows of our pain. Shadows of our thoughts. They pass their way by us. But it takes just a moment, a step, a move within the waters to come away from the darkness of the shadow and back into the warmth of the light.
To the shadows in life they await our response. Will we reside in them? Will we flee in fear? Or will we step back into the light and bask in the warmth of truth and the Son.
Always check for truth.. But don’t own something from someone who has no idea.
(Those words shared in a conversation from my dearest of friends left my heart swirling in thought. Not because it was a new truth. Because of how too many don’t know it.)
There will always be the opinion. There will always be the basing of an assumption on shallow observations.
There will always be the thinking that because you’re not doing it “my way” you’re not doing it the “right way”.
So what to do when these opinions, assumptions and wayward thinking form into outspoken words?
Receive what is true and to the rest say NO. This is not for me. I do not receive them.
And if we feel the misguided words of shallow thinking forming upon our lips? STOP! Take the time to look, dig, feel deeper. Is that one truly too young understand? Is that ones way wrong or simply misunderstood? Do we know without question the truth of the matter? Do I sincerely have the right to speak against my fellow a word unexplored?
Lord please put a filter upon our ears and hearts to receive not the words of folly. And place a muzzle upon our mouths that we not bite others with words of the same.