Yesterday’s post left me recognising what I was holding on to. Good Friday came and I knew that I had to acknowledge that I accepted the death of Christ – not just in a head-way, but in actually allowing myself to let go of the things which he wanted to take from me.
I wrote my confession. I didn’t know what was going to be in it but as I started to write it all came.
I wrote asking for forgiveness and I wrote that I accepted the forgiveness God wants to give me.
I named all that I wanted to let go of and hand over to him.
I took that piece of paper, and another, which I’d been carrying with me for 9 months and I found shells with holes through them. I put the papers inside and after a period of inner wrestling (it is so hard to let go sometimes) I walked into the sea and let them go.
I found rocks which represented the things I was giving to God (paper didn’t quite feel heavy enough) and I threw away the hurt from betrayal, and my shame, and destroyed pride, and anxiety. I realized that Jesus understood all of those feelings. I didn’t need to explain.
And then, he asked me a question. He said “what about forgiveness ?” I shouted back ‘”You f****** want me to do that as well? Haven’t I done enough”.
“No”, he said. “I want you to do that. “
I understood. How could I come knowing that I was being forgiven, that my heavy rocks were being taken from me, and still be unforgiving ?
Through my painful tears I said the words Jesus wanted to hear from me.
When I finished sobbing and wiped my face I threw my tissues in the sea too. Against all ‘don’t litter in the sea’ responses in my head I knew that I needed to hand over my tears too. They are his now. He can use them as he thinks best.
As I walked away knowing I’d been at the foot of the cross I asked, humanly, selfishly, demandingly for a tangible sign. A sign that showed me that what I had done was what he wanted me to do. That leaving all those things behind was not going to be a loss but a blessing. I looked at the pebbles and everywhere I looked there were heart shaped stones and shells. I collected 4 or 5 before my pockets were full and I just had to smile every time I saw another. And then a white shell caught my eye. “This is how I see you”, said my Father. “Redeemed, unashamed, beautiful, clean.”
And so I waited for Easter day. Knowing that I was on the path of life. My hand empty of all that I was grasping and free to take the hand of God.
Lights in the darkness
‘Lord when your cross pierces
our own desires
and makes us call out,
let our cry be, through our pain
My God, I trust in you
My God, I trust in you.’
“‘Lord some of us are never far from tears,
and some of us have forced ourselves not to cry.
Bring our tears into your captivity and direction,
That they respond to your voice.
You have the words of eternal life.”
‘Will it never end?
I’m not as sure as when I started.
I never knew it would be like this.
But this is my firm choice:
Lord, I will go on with you.
Lord, I will go on with you.” from Celtic Daily Prayers