whenever i travel, i can’t help noticing what people carry. inevitably, there are those few people who stand out because they are burdened by heaps of what seems unnecessary luggage, purses and various bags.
i study faces passing by too. and i wonder what has shaped these stories , these strangers. i wonder what events have carved the lines of joy, worry, stiffness or pain into those faces. then i wearily step into the airport restroom and look up. i see in the mirror the same tired and deep lines of my own story. worn right there on my face for all to see.
sometimes i wish those lines weren’t there, but most days i have made a sort of peace with them. because they represent and remind me of my becoming…and overcoming. and how i’ve been shaped in the struggle. i’m so aware that hard things happen to all of us.
hard things that leave their mark on us. they bruise us and mold us.
then , sometimes without realizing it, we begin to grow a thick skin. and start piling on the defenses…dragging around a lifetimes’ worth of baggage. ugh. it’s exhausting.
the truth is, we’re all trying to dig out from under some pile or another. and we carry a lot of burdens that weigh us down and keep us weary. most of the time we’ve lost track of what’s even in the stuff we’ve gathered. like those hoarders who when interviewed, seem to have no sense of how or why they stockpile. but they somehow know it keeps them safe.
so on we drag with our heads down and nose to the plow. forgetting to look up. getting so stuck in our own ways… like those ruts carved out from the plow. overtime, getting deeper and deeper until we forget we can change.
we forget we can … become something different. dig out. shed layers. discover newness.
it’s like spiritual amnesia sets in. until He reminds us again that His mercies are new every morning. and that with the brightness and freshness of the rising sun, we get a clean slate ! when a new day begins, it’s an offer of hope and promise. Jesus is there, always. to greet us upon waking and pour out His mercy for living. for wrestling with our hurts, our discomforts, our losses, our ache for healing and resolve. and our ruts.
we need a lot of mercy in those ruts. because our old patterns of doing life are often the very things that keep us missing out on the Truest life God has for us. and boy do i lose sight in those narrow places where i’ve dug my stubborn heals in. unyielding and more stuck with the passing years.
Jesus, save us here. crash in to our obstinance and drag us out if You must. melt off our layers and forgive our demand for comfort over holy. deep down we want holy.
i want holy. at any cost.
to be brought out of meager, small, weighed down living . to shed what encumbers me and lay down the baggage that insulates me. to lay it aside and run . to let it go, even in the face of fear. only then can the piles that once protected and pulled at me start to fall and be lifted off …replaced with grace. and grace gives way to light. letting it stream in through the rubble and show the way out.
and the way to travel lightly in the journey.
But God , being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. For by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4,5
yours in the shedding,becoming and running, xo jamie