16 March 2013

even when the photographer is an off-colour amateur God can still sing His freedom song

A few years ago between Christmas and New Year heavy snow fell. I was laid low with swine flu and although muddle headed and lacking in energy, was determined to take some photos. 

Leaning out of a window, I took a few snaps. 

Because of the poor light or my absent mindedness in not checking the camera settings, the flash went off in a couple of the photos.

At this time there were some particularly challenging things happening at our church. Some serious illnesses were being fought within the church family and more personally and painfully there were also relationship difficulties which were affecting us quite deeply. 

Now we live in a different place and at the end of last year I was re-visiting some of the issues of a few years ago in thought and prayer. Things that sometimes take a long time to work through, to process and relinquish pain. With God's help, the slow walk through forgiveness and healing has been ongoing since that winter of the heavy snowfall. 

But occasionally something happens out of the blue, to trigger memories, even an innocuous and apparently unrelated social media comment.  Thoughts push reason aside, trample all over the gift of forgiveness and barge in causing the hurts and fears to come tumbling back to the fore.  

All of a sudden I feel vulnerable once more, like a piece of china stacked precariously in a New Years salesroom, waiting to be knocked to the ground and shattered by sharp-elbowed, eager bargain hunters.

And so I start to believe again in the safety of those familiar emotional patterns of protecting the heart which are easier to wear like comfortable well-worn trainers.  But one day those shoes too will start to leak or wear out completely. 

In that season I was idly flitting through photographs for something and came across the set of snow photos once more. I noticed for the first time that in one of them, the errant flash had caught a snowflake in such a way that it was heart-shaped.   

You found things difficult and felt hurt at that time. You have experienced pain since then, I know how that feels.

Others were disappointed at that time, there may still be some unresolved things, but I was there then, loving all of you.  

You may have felt misunderstood, but I understand you. I know you.

I am still here now loving you for who you are, even when you still make the same mistakes. 

When those old injuries are loosed again, I am the Healer. 

Your name is indelibly tattooed on My heart and nothing can separate you from Me.

Not now, not ever.

I love You.

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