A couple of years ago I read a moving article written by a woman who struggled for years to forgive her abusive mom. She’d prayed about it, asked the Lord to give her a softened heart. Still, the hurt seemed too overpowering. Then…one night…she had a wondrous dream….
She found herself in a sunny meadow where breezes were gently blowing and lifting the heads of hundreds of flowers all around her to the sky. There, she was captivated by the peace and loveliness broken only by birds singing… and then, coming from just a little distance away… the sound of a child’s carefree laughter singing out over the meadow. As she listened, it seemed to her that the child’s delight was adding a song all it’s own to the land, like a light rain bringing everything into sharper focus, deeper life. Looking around, she spotted the little girl on the banks of a stream, painting with watercolors that seemed to flow rainbows of colors from the child’s fingertips out onto her paper and into the atmosphere. Her eyes were dancing, her spirit singing as no other child the woman knew.
“What is this place and who is that little girl?” she asked the Lord with awe.
“That is your mother,” He answered, softly.
Startled, the woman looked once more at the little girl. No longer a bitter adult whose face was etched with anger, this was a child so filled with light and hope and creativity… and radiance. It couldn’t be, she thought. Yet…
“Oh, Mom,” the woman choked back with sudden realization of where the abuse had begun. “Who stole this light from you?” In that moment, forgiveness washed freely over her and she woke with deeper peace than she’d ever known. And a fresh knowing – No matter our age, no matter our sorrows or joys, we are each ever His children, made whole anew and filled with light…For that is how He sees us – and renews us – through eyes of Grace.
“Do you see us ever as the children you created us to be, Lord?” I wonder, as the image of this woman’s dream seems so vivid…almost like a movie scene… before me. I’m reminded how I always look at the adults I once knew as children, and often see their sweet faces as they were then, even now… pictures in time that never fade…still there inside them… And of that touching scene in “Father of the Bride” where Steve Martin sees his grown daughter as a little girl, announcing her engagement. Yes, the heart of the Father...
I think of the post I wrote last about the endearing age of nine, and sharing what it might be like to be that age again for just one day.. not necessarily as we once were… but in a redeemed day. I love the charming description Lolita left in that post’s comments about the day she envisions for herself… and how it lifts me like a kite to the sky and just makes me smile as I close my eyes. For I can just see her there:
“I would be up a tree,” she wrote, “holding on to a limb, swinging my feet and feeling the breeze as they rustle the leaves. Later in the late afternoon, I will be settled in a hammock, reading away a book, or a bound-together comic book, full of fairy tales, borrowed from a close friend……. reading away and imagining what it would be like to be the princess who was all black and blue over a pea under a dozen mattresses, or how heavy the tresses of Rapunzel were.
Then tomorrow, I am planning to bike around the island to visit my cousins, swim with them in the beach down their backyard, then pick Green Mangoes and together we would eat them with some salted tiny shrimp paste.
I think of Diane’s comment there too about her desire to play as she was never given freedom to play -and of anyone else who may have felt the same – and I think I see you too 🙂 … there by that stream in the story above. Coloring… singing…dancing…running free in imagination and creativity inherited from the Father. Free in who you were created to be. For God Himself is taking your hand and leading you into the Light of a new day… your own redeemed day… to wipe away any darkness that once was and bring new light and joy and freedom into who you are now…
And to Martha… I see Him smiling on you and taking your hands… Yes! He says, more than okay to smile… 🙂
As far as my own redeemed day goes? Mmmm….
I imagine myself kneeling at a sandy shore once more with another slightly younger friend and my sister. Off to the side, glorious sparkles are riding the crests of white-frothed waves, and in front of me, we are building the sand castle of my dreams. This time…as never before… it really IS taking perfect shape as we pack our Dixie cups with mud and pop the solid formed dirt out to make turrets. I take my finger, and like Mom does with pie dough, I make indentations at the top of each turret, to simulate the brick- spaced walls. Incredibly, to my eyes, we are suddenly able to shape and form and turn this blob into a shining castle rivaling Sleeping Beauty’s at Disneyland. We make the moat and fill it with water. We set a paper flag in the highest tower and begin to make up the scenarios of who is living there and what they are doing.
One time, like Lolita, we dream of Rapunzel. Always, always, we populate our castle with a princess awaiting her prince… Later, we laugh as we try to run in and out of the teasing ripples of white wave lace touching the shore…
We munch on sandwiches and chips and grapes, saving Mom’s homemade brownie nut squares topped with melty fudge frosting for last… we huddle close in our white terrycloth robes, reveling in the familiar warmth of this time together as the sun goes down on the water and coolness descends, then gather everything and everyone back to our car. Cozy and toasty with bits of sand still between our toes, we doze nearly on top of each other in the backseat while the parents handle the ride home…
And as I see this picture… I know now… nine is the last of my carefree time in our family’s life before turmoil and daily going to school with an upset stomach and ultimate tragedy stole so much of our joy for so many years. But somehow… now, in the light of His Grace on this redeemed day… light washes over me like the waves to the sand, and I know… He alone makes all things new.
For He is the Bridegroom who sees us only as Beloved. Calls us…dearest of friends. Lovely… spotless… and ever joyous. He knows our hearts and pronounces them… good.
And I am so grateful to know His hand has always been in mine…even – no, especially – when I didn’t know.
© Pam Depoyan