The memory was triggered as I hiked a familiar trail alone in the isolation of the COVID-19 mandate to stay cloistered. Families are out in droves, staying in their cocooned clusters of “just us”. Stepping aside for a wife, toddler, and infant strapped to his daddy’s back, the memory flooded back to me in a flash.
As a jaded child, I thought to myself looking around that bowling alley full of fathers and children, “If you had been there for your family when they needed you, you wouldn’t have to be here now in this meaningless ritual,” judging every sans-mother father there assigned a lane with his brood represented what our grouping did. Abandonment. Divorce. Feigned connection.
My first response now is to invite Holy Spirit into this memory, into this pain that is still trigger-able for a reason. A wound unrecognized and therefore untended.
What memories is this current crisis triggering for you in this time of unpredictability and even chaos? What are you feeling?
The temptation is to quickly sweep the discomfort to the side, to walk past without addressing the underlying wound or even the fresh gouging of new assaults against your heart. But there is an invitation in the pain, a wooing into communion with the Great Physician, the Counselor, the One Who bears our grief. God brings beauty straight out of the charred remains of ashes.
Come Holy Spirit. Lead us into all truth. We invite the healing Balm of Gilead into our most hidden places of wounding, in Jesus’ name.