6/24/08

On Rainbows and Puppies...

I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
that God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
His merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great is Your faithfulness!
(Lam. 3:19-24)

When it comes to the random, the oddball, and the useless, I have the memory of an elephant.

It's true, I think. [I've never asked an elephant, but I hear they're good at what they do. Well, not that thing. The other thing. ;o)]

So I'm good like that. I process and mentally categorize information that I'll never benefit from; things like the color of a cashier's nail polish, the vanity plate of the guy in the Mercedes who drives to work beside me every morning [I know this in the most non-stalker way possible, y'all.] and the shoes my friend wore last week.

Those are the foamy, frothy little memories, details that add or detract absolutely nothing from my life.

But then there are the cloudy memories. Try as I might, I can't ignore them. They're the ones that I try to sugarcoat. You want to hear my story? Ok, sure! We're going to gloss over the negatives with a coat of iridescent shine [lime green, please] and never focus on them long enough to see them for what they are, comprende?

It's just easier. Easier than stopping long enough to recognize that these snippets of my life force me to admit that those dark times were battering, that I was tossed like a ship in a storm and maybe even made silly, human mistakes as I tried to regain my balance.

I know the taste of ashes, the utter lostness, and the bitter poison. I know what it feels like to hit the bottom.

I love how real this passage is about the bad times we all face, though. No candy-colored glitter paint, no fake smile, no falsely positive disclaimers, just in-your-face honesty.

Israel had just endured a thrashing; taken captive, ripped from their homes, helpless to stop the enemy from destroying everything they owned, weary, and afraid, the entire nation was cast down and afraid. They'd just hit bottom.

Sugary-sweet, balloon-filled moments in the park? Not on your life.

But Jeremiah writes about clinging to hope. Hanging on to a thread of promise [sound familiar?] and believing in His merciful love.

It's easy to put on rose-colored glasses and pretend that the bad things never happened. It's not easy to overcome by the word of our testimony [which is completely Biblical, y'all] and admit that we struggled with the pain. The real testimony, though, isn't in pretending that it happened exactly according to plan. It's in turning a bottom-of-the-abyss situation into a song of praise for the One who promises us joy in the morning.

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[the alohilana blog] by R. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at alohilana.blogspot.com.