Sometimes, against my will, memories and past instances pop up in my mind. These are things that I wish I could forget, but, is that so good?
Our hard times are the things that often shape us the most. Terrible things are done onto us, and, maybe, our lives can begin a new path by saying “It’s what we know we aren’t, that makes us who we are.”
If we forget the instance that shaped us, can we press on and set others and ourselves free from the things we’ve endured?
As painful as it is to remember, it could be in our remembering that we are shaped into something far more beautiful. In a paradoxical way, the only way to become beautiful is to go where the ugliness is. The only way to become strong is to submit to our weakness.
I’ll leave you with a wonderful parable by the great thinker Peter Rollins, have a great day!
That evening a group of unknown disciples packed their few belongings and left for a distant shore. They could not bear to stay another moment in the place were their Messiah had just been crucified. With great sorrow they left that place never to return. Instead they travelled a great distance and founded a community far from Jerusalem were they vowed to keep the memory of Christ alive and endeavour to live the way that he had taught.
This community lived in great solitude for over a hundred years, spending their days reflecting upon the life of Jesus and attempting to remain faithful to his ways. All this despite the overwhelming sorrow in their heart and the sacrifices that such a life required.
Then, at dawn one morning, a small band of missionaries reached the isolated settlement and were amazed at the community they found. What was most startling was that these people had no knowledge of the resurrection and ascension of Christ for they had left before the third day. Without hesitation the missionaries gathered the whole community together and taught them what had occurred after the bloody crucifixion of their Lord.
That evening there was a great celebration in the camp. Yet, as the night progressed, one of the missionaries noticed that the leader of the community was absent. This bothered the young man and so he set out to look for this respected elder. Eventually he found him crouched in a small hut on the fringe of the village, praying and weeping. ‘Why are you in such sorrow’ asked the missionary in amazement ‘for today is a time for great celebration’.
‘A day for great celebration and also great sorrow’ replied the elder, who was all the while crouched on the floor ‘For over a hundred years we have followed the ways taught to us by Christ. We pursued his ways faithfully even though it cost us dearly, and we remained resolute despite the belief that death had defeated Him and would one day defeat us also’. The elder slowly got to his feet and looked the missionary compassionately in the face.
‘Each day we have forsaken our very lives for Him. Why? Because we judge Him wholly worthy of the sacrifice, wholly worthy of our being. But now, following your news, I am afraid that my children and my children’s children may follow him not because of his radical life and supreme sacrifice but because that sacrifice ensures our personal salvation and eternal life’.
With this the elder left the hut and made his way to the celebrations that could be dimly heard in the distance, leaving the missionary crouched on the floor.