Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds, But Compassion Can.
My dad and I were messaging last night about a book that Callie was reading to the two youngest children. It’s called the Thingamajig book of Manners. it was my favorite as a child and I remember being at my grandma Newcomb’s and him reading it to me. While we were talking, he asked if I remembered the time capsule we buried at my old house in the backyard.
I don’t know it hit me so hard. Maybe because I haven’t thought about it for over twenty years. Maybe because of what it represented. More than trinkets buried in a coffee can. I don’t even remember what’s in it. The lump in my throat started rising pretty aggressively and I couldn’t keep it down.
In my mind, I see the last picture taken of me before I left. I remember the photo, what I was wearing, a plaid button-up and jeans. My hair was short, maybe chin length. I was wearing the work clothes my aunt bought me to wear to the program.
My dad then reminded me, “That’s right before it all went down”. It was the day we stopped time and buried everything. It never went back to the way it was. It never has. He said he wants to get a metal detector and go look for it. I maybe want to leave the dead things to lie.
Because Some Lost Things Cannot Ever Be Recovered
I’m sure opening it would be fun and reminiscent, but they aren’t all happy memories. I keep thinking about it and feeling overwhelmingly sad when I picture us there behind that little blue house burying a coffee can, just like one of our adventures. Like we will be together again on an adventure to dig it up and look inside and smile about how funny things were. But it isn’t like that, and it wasn’t then either. It is something lost that cannot ever be recovered.
I think about all the things that God has restored for me, and all the areas of my life he has covered with His unending mercy and compassion towards my bitterness and anger. In every situation I have ever entered, He went first and laid His favor out. Favor I hadn’t earned and didn’t even want. Protecting me from overdosing, protecting me from rape, from prison, from losing everything.
The video above is long, but halfway through she says, “Those were not my words. I see you pure… So let my love song cause those lies to fall like stone around you…I’m removing the pressure. I won’t let you stay way down.”
Beleiving The Heavy Lies
There was never a time, that God’s compassion for my buried hurts wasn’t on me. The only person who ever kept me from having a real relationship with God was me. He was extending grace after grace in every situation, protecting and covering me.
I felt that I was too messed up. I felt like so many people feel. There were too many things between us. There was too much baggage and no one wanted to deal with it. Including God. I could not do anything right and never would be able to “fix” all of this. And to be truthful, none of that has changed either. But I’m okay with it. I accept it. I own it.
True Change takes Time
I slowly started to accept the good things that were offered to me. Like a scared animal. Taking small steps closer and then running away again. I dug it up and let Him see small parts and then larger parts until there was nothing left from inside the can. He smoothed and buffed the sharp parts and gave me new and beautiful gifts to replace the things I thought were important to me.
But someone has sold people because they steal, lie, have an addiction, have sharp edges, God will not accept them, or maybe none of the above; maybe someone made them feel like because they are gay, lesbian, bi, LGBTQ; God’s love and compassion just simply cannot apply to them. That’s the rules or they don’t meet the standard.
Time to let those lies fall like stones around you. That is not how God sees you, ever.
12 For I will forgive their wrongdoing,Hebrews 8:12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
and I will never again remember their sins.
I think most of us who have something we buried don’t want it dug up in front of anyone, especially God. I think it is something that keeps many, many people from accepting the love and compassion that God has at the ready. The weight of being trapped in a pattern of sin, mistakes, addiction and our poor responses to managing our pain makes us run, hide, and push God’s offers away.
Show Others The Compassion You Need
It is easy to recognize compassion directed towards us after it has been given. We know when we have hurt someone terribly and feel truly sorry, wishing we had not have said or done what we did. When that person sincerely forgives us and doesn’t hold that against us it is a freeing feeling of the pressure being removed from the weight of our errors.
Extending that same compassion to others who we think are wrong or have hurt us is much harder to do. And sadly, because others have judged them so harshly and been so unforgiving. I think that is how we falsely lead others to believe God will not show them compassion either.
11 Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me.Psalm 40:11 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
In the Bible, God told Sarah His plan for her. She laughed and mocked that His plan was possible. When she died God looked back t her life and said, she was a righteous woman. He does not remember your failures. He is not waiting for you to dig them up and lay them out so He can point out how you failed to meet His standards and requirements. He doesn’t need to. If you’re anything like me, you did it to yourself every day for years.