“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
Ephesians 2:14 NLT
Some time back our good friends from many years, Clive and Ruth, came to stay. As ever, amid the humorous and happy reminiscences, I suddenly touched deeply into a source of real pain. It was obvious to me and to us all as the intensity of my communication increased. It related to a deep, unresolved and irresolvable dispute with social services. Investigated over my caring role with Katey, I found myself nose to nose with an inflexible, policy-ridden institution.
I realised as we talked, and perhaps as Clive, then Ruth, delicately attempted to point out the reality of the open wound I still carried, that this incident exercised far too strong a hold over my life. It wasn’t as though I thought about it much, yet stirred as the incident now was, I experienced the anger and sense of complete powerless that had engulfed me then. I was speaking while still occupying the incident, even though it was many years behind me. Holding onto pain, legitimate or not, allows yesterday’s remembrances to steal from our today and our tomorrows.
Here was a stone, in fact more of a boulder that was impeding my ability to move on with my life. The weight of it threatened to crush me. The scale of my emotional involvement, the depth of my pain and the confusion over the emotion and the logic was going to take some unwinding. Yet, I chose to acknowledge the reality of that wound, my own failure to have let go of it, and my need to take some action to move it away and move on. Length of time only lodges these stones more firmly around our heart, and I was going to need to spend some time totally devoted to working this one through. Yet, even as I knew that was the case, I already felt a lightening in my mood that even this boulder would be removed.
Can you find the courage to make an attempt to move away from the resentment and find peace once more with God?
Lord, just as you have broken down walls of hostility, break down any that remain in me.