I had a notion a while ago. Given how I write out my assorted musings for my Cephas Hour of Peace radio show (audio on demand for past shows available here), why not dust off my modest little waystation off the information superhighway (hey, when was the last time you heard that expression? But I digress) and print them here? Hence this post.
Hope this helps you with whatever you’re presently going through. Video clips are the songs played during the show.
The Old Testament prophet Joel noted that in the time period to which he was referring — whether be that in the past or upcoming I’ll leave for Biblical scholars to debate — the young men of Israel would see visions, while the old men would dream dreams. Since I, alas, am firmly in the latter age group, dreams it is.
While I strongly doubt it in any way is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, I’ve noticed in my dreams the past few months how most every one has included someone with whom there is presently some level of conflict, or disagreement, or strain on what was at one time an at least solid relationship that now is something less than optimal. Yet, invariably in these dreams there is no strife. All parties involved get along perfectly. It’s quite nice.
Perhaps in these dreams there is not so much a wish for all to be right again as a sign that all in time will be right again. We often think of signs and wonders, visions and dreams, as being spectacular surreal supernatural extravaganzas. Not necessarily. Little miracles are just as much miraculous as the grandiose. All that is touched by the divine isn’t always on the scale of parting the Red Sea. It can also be parting the divisions between two people, providing a path toward forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation.
This is why we should always remain hopeful, not allowing the immediate turbulence to trick us into believing this is how everything is always going to be. We can forgive and be forgiven. We can restore and be restored. We can love again and be loved again. We can also cut ourselves some slack if this doesn’t happen in the next five minutes. Referring back to the prophet Joel, he notes that the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and He relents in sending disaster to those who turn in repentance to Him. This doesn’t absolve us of responsibility. But it does put time in perspective.
In our lives, we have all met a savior or two or three dozen. I’m not referring to the real Savior, namely Jesus Christ. No, I’m referring to the self-appointed saviors, be it of relationships or the workplace, who once were brothers or sisters in arms in our collective of ragtag soldiers. Now, they look to be the general. Problem is, they’re so busy fighting whatever battle is at hand that they forget not only why they’re fighting but that the troops they originally set out fighting for are still here.
There are few things more disheartening than the individual who was once actively engaged as a compatriot in helping others, but now distances his or herself from others even as they put on a great show of doing what they do for the benefit of all. This is not service. This is selfishness. The person who takes someone, or others collectively, for granted is often the most surprised when that someone, or those others, walk away, usually quietly. How can they, the person wonders. Can’t he or she, or they, see I’m doing what I’m doing for their and everyone else’s benefit? I’m trying to make things better! In reality, you’re making things worse for everyone else, and you’re doing what you do for yourself.
All of us can be replaced at the workplace. One day we will be. Disney didn’t close when Walt Disney died. Apple didn’t close when Steve Jobs died. There is not a store above the one-person shop level on this planet that will be forced out of business if any given employee fails to show. Human beings, however, can and do fall apart, sometimes irrecoverably, when someone walks out of their life in pursuit of being a both unneeded and utterly unqualified pseudosavior.
There’s a saying that revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. Of course, Christians are instructed to leave such matters as revenge and vengeance to the Lord as they are solely His prerogative. Not that this stops any of us from politely requesting permission to serve as His avenging angel, but He usually says no.
We can cushion and beautify the thirst for revenge against those who have wronged us by wrapping it in assorted Scriptures. More realistically, we can strive toward being someone who forgives and forgets. The problem is far too often, we confuse the two.
Moving on is quite often identical to moving away from. We can and should forgive those who have wronged us. This does not mean we automatically stay in a relationship with an unfaithful partner, or working for a dishonorable employer. Sometimes you need to, for your own preservation, slip out of the picture and find a picture of your own in which to live. It ties into that whole being human thing so many of us try to get out of.
Finding solace is a necessary part of self-preservation; of valuing ourselves as God’s creation. The Scripture that teaches us He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit in no way implies this hinges on the provision we blissfully discard each and every wrong perpetrated against us, following this by gleefully dancing back into the exact same situation in which we were previously wronged. Each of us is worth more than that. We are not human doormats.
This directly ties into how although the penalty of sin is forgiven by Christ’s substitutional death on the cross, the consequences of sin are not eradicated by Christ’s substitutional death on the cross. We can repent, but we are never guaranteed protection from our actions repercussions. Sometimes we need to walk away for a time from the one who hurt us. As long as we never walk away from the One Who always loves us.
I rather miss regularly blogging, regular as in daily or near-daily rather than my current once a week, if that much, pace. Having long ago abandoned all delusions of blogging stardom in favor of hoping my modest little scribbles might prove of value to others, I find myself more often than not stymied by all that nasty real life stuff so obnoxiously interfering with said scribbling … as is amply evidenced by the fact this is my first post here in over a year. Oops. Add into this the issues caused by my ever-lurking thorn in the mind otherwise known as the depression monster, and it’s easy to see why the words don’t flow as they did before.
Blogging is, alas, rapidly going the way of the CD. As a CD is a far superior sonic experience than 99.44% of streaming music conduits, yet is now an afterthought as convenience and disposability of disposable music reigns supreme, so blogging is a far superior communication method than social media for freely expressing complex or deep subjects, yet is now an afterthought in favor of Twitter and/or Facebook hot takes. Never mind there is no control over the platforms and your words there, while no longer your own the moment they are committed to a third party’s digital page, can and will be used against you should you dare step away from the prescribed policies of said third parties. Whenever I see individuals or enterprises wailing loud and long when they are demonetized and/or deplatformed from a social media monolith, only one thought comes to mind: why did you put all your eggs in someone else’s basket in the first place?
There are very few blogs left today compared to blogging’s heyday in the 2000s, when there were seemingly two thousand sites worth visiting. Now? Name any actual blogs – not group sites owned by a media company under whose auspices the select few write for a paycheck, which is course is no sin – you currently read. I occasionally read Ace of Spades, but that’s about it. Most all others have gone away. Which is unfortunate.
I don’t bother writing about politics anymore (hold your applause; I’m still the same curmudgeonly conservative I always was). I’d much rather write about the classic Christian rock I love, or discuss matters of faith, or how we need to take better care of each other and ourselves. Far less wide-reaching in terms of mass appeal than any given well-publicized diatribe about why Politician A is a poopyhead and Politician B is a meanypants, as I’ve well proved to myself. But far more satisfying, and of far greater value.
There is no intention on my part of ever giving up blogging completely. I pay enough for these assorted sites, and they are under my control. I do wish I had more time and energy to compose these modest scribbles, but perhaps this will change. Preferably in a good way. And hopefully my quiet reminders to myself that I need to be more loving and forgiving, more intent on practicing cognitive thinking and cognitive faith so I am better able to take the long view and not be overwhelmed by monotrack reaction to the immediate, will be of benefit to others. I always thank people for reading what I write. Few things mean more than when something I’ve written evokes an unsolicited thankful response.
Don’t let it end.
It’s difficult to envision veteran Christian alt rockers The Choir being in the company of country artists back when it was barely out of its teens, a time finding artists such as The Carter Family, Bob Willis, and Bill Monroe routinely crisscrossing the country planting seeds of a genre they created. Also, it’s not that Bloodshot, The Choir’s new album, is in any sense a country album. However, there is a common thread; more on this in a bit.
Throughout its career The Choir has with graceful ease traversed between atmospheric and near avant-garde, musically built around Derri Daugherty’s sometimes dreamy and at other moments razor slice guitar while Steve Hindalong’s lyrics have purposefully plumbed relationships, life fragments, and faith through a poet’s eyes. In this respect Bloodshot is no different than its predecessors. The Choir have for decades made extremely even albums, never failing to deliver something solid wrapped within textural diversity. Bloodshot, however, has some twists revealing Messrs. Daugherty and Hindalong, plus Tim Chandler on bass and Dan Michaels on assorted reed instruments, are still more than capable of bringing something new to the turntable.
Bloodshot is in many ways the most straightforward album The Choir has ever recorded. Not that the music is an exercise in formulaic commercial ear candy; rather, the songs are simpler without being simplistic: more direct, more immediately accessible. Daugherty frequently employs strummed chords as a foundation upon which to bounce his effects-rich electric work, using it to create far more guitar interplay than is present in most Choir efforts. Even when there is but one guitar present, Daugherty accomplishes the rare feat of creating multiple sound swirls dancing around each other, always perfectly meshed within the song in lieu of drawing attention to themselves alone.
The album also differs lyrically from the majority of prior albums in that it is far more heavily relationship-focused. Not that faith is being dismissed, but on Bloodshot Hindalong is at his most playful and celebratory of love between two people. This is the album you play for those who deride Christian music as bereft of romance.
Where the album harkens back to country’s emerging years is in its songs at their core. They are solid, uncomplicated, and tuneful; the essence of country long before it went cosmopolitan. It is not difficult to hear the compositions and picture them coming out of a dome-shaped AM radio, performed by a small acoustic ensemble in some station’s studio designed for live music. Whether this is intentional or unplanned is something only The Choir can answer, but regardless it is there.
It’s easy, and sadly all too common, for an established band to trot out the same ol’ same ol’ album after album, knowing this will satisfy the vast majority of their audience. The Choir think and act differently. Bloodshot isn’t a radical departure, but rather a superb exploration of songs and sounds fused together, creating a record that’s memorable for all the right reasons.
The album is available for preorder on iTunes.
There has been a great deal of melancholia lately among people I know, many deeply cared for. The young and newly single mother, wondering if she’ll ever find genuine love for the first time let alone again. Another young woman whose joyous anticipation along with her husband of their first child together has now turned to grief as the baby has passed away while still in her womb. The depression monster eating people alive, stealing whatever joy they might have while leaving them numb and indifferent to life’s pleasures. Yours truly, watching his employer turn out the lights, searching for and wondering who will be his next employer if in fact there will be one. To put it simply, not a ton of recent fun.
It’s challenging, knowing what and what not to say when people are hurting. The challenge exponentially rises when you are the one in pain, ofttimes leaving you unwilling to talk about things at the exact time you most need to communicate concerning that which seeks your slow destruction. John Donne was right; no man is an island. However, it is not only the final death of one affecting us all. It is the little births and deaths among those we know, joys and sorrows we share out of love bringing us together as we help each other through the bloody cold mud that life so often churns for us to stumble through.
We laugh with those who laugh, comfort those who mourn, and grieve with those who grieve. Sometimes all we can offer is our presence, as any words we might have to offer sound too trite, too cliched to say aloud. Yet these times of being there are often far more valuable than anything we might have uttered. In a world demanding all communication and contact be at its convenience, with phone calls abhorred and texts answered at leisure, making oneself available for another is a sadly revolutionary notion. There is surprising healing in presence; well, surprising to those caught up in a world of omnipresent communication but minimal contact.
Yes, sometimes we don’t know what to say. This doesn’t leave us incapable of reaching out. A hug, a hand on the shoulder, a reassuring smile; these speak volumes. What matters is the love behind the effort. None of us always have the right words. But we can do the right thing. Even when we wish we know what to say.
Do you ever wonder why you are where you are at any given moment?
Often it doesn’t make sense. We know life is a procession of instances where we learn and/or share what has already been learned, but far too often the sardonic adage of when you’re up to your neck in alligators it’s difficult to remember the original objective was draining the swamp comes to mind. It’s easy to say “trust God – Romans 8:28.” It’s quite a different thing to do when you’re recalling a loved one now gone away, wishing with all you have you could talk to them jut once more. Heaven awaits those who believe, yet eternity remains an eternity away.
Lessons learned at my employer prior to the current one occasionally come to mind, and often come in quite handy where I now work. It would be easy to say said lessons were why I was there. However, there was one moment when … well, here’s the story.
I held the not terribly lofty position of customer service manager. Translation: I was responsible for servicing the customers by expediting their sojourn through the checkstands. A tad difficult when you were at the last remaining store in the Western Hemisphere that rang everything manually, and on any day ending in a y you didn’t have enough cashiers, thus forcing you to call department heads who were invariably swamped with their own projects. But hey. Someone had to pay for those illegal museum shipments. But I digress.
One afternoon, a customer approached me holding a ladies wallet. She said she had found it in one of the potted plants outside the store. Said wallet had the individual’s drivers license, cellphone, and car keys, leading to the logical conclusion they would be looking for it. I thanked the guest, and doubtless in direct violation of any number of the company’s five bajillion rules designed to turn all into mindless drones (but hey, it gave us Sunday off) held on to the wallet instead of immediately having it locked away in the store safe.
A few minutes later, a police officer came in and asked me if we carried marbles; his son wanted some. It occurred to me to mention the wallet. He said he’d keep an eye out for anyone looking for it.
Shortly thereafter, a young woman entered the store. She was very petite and not unattractive. She headed straight toward me and said, “I believe you have something of mine.” Which I did; a quick glance at the drivers license declared the wallet was hers.
I handed it to her.
She began to cry.
Now, I’ve been in similar situations where tears of relief came in response to a returned, intact wallet or purse. Thus, I commented it was okay.
Actually, no it wasn’t, as the young woman replied with the reason she was crying.
Her father had just died.
Needless to say, this was not a topic covered in the customer service manager handbook.
The young woman asked if there was somewhere she could sit down. The only thing available was the store wheelchair, so I grabbed it and sat her down. She said she desperately needed to use the restroom, so I pushed her in the wheelchair across the store to same.
Once she emerged, she said she didn’t think she could stand, so I sat her back down in the wheelchair and gave her a slow tour of the store, alternating between expressing sentiments shared by those of us in the unfortunate fellowship she had now entered and doing my best to comfort her. Sometimes she cried. Sometimes she even laughed at one of my silly comments. And so we continued for a half-hour or so until she felt together enough to drive home. We hugged, and she left.
I haven’t seen her since.
I pray she’s doing okay.
I pray I did my Dad proud.
And yes, I believe that moment was why I was there.
In the early to mid 1970s, commercials for Mennen Skin Bracer aftershave were a staple of network television, especially sports programming. The tag line was simple: after the announcer deeply intoned how Skin Bracer’s skin tightner and chin chillers wake you up like a cold slap in the face, a man would slap some on – always twice – and end the commercial with, “Thanks – I needed that.” While minister, teacher, musician, and author Kemper Crabb’s aftershave preference is known but to himself and immediate family, he has taken Skin Bracer’s message to heart. His book Liberation Front: Resurrecting the Church is a Scriptural muscle-guided slap in the face to both individual believers and the church as a whole calling them, and it, back to the Biblically-ordained role and power the church has been divinely ordained to uphold in earth and in heaven.
Crabb is a Renaissance man, not only in how his music over the years has often referenced said era and earlier both musically and lyrically, but in his thorough knowledge of both Scripture and history. He makes his case both straight from the Bible and early church teachers/teachings that church membership is vital to every believer, alongside this outlining and then carefully detailing what Crabb labels the church’s seven modes (Romance, Family, Body, Temple, Pillar and Ground of Truth, Weapon, Liberating Army). Throughout the text Crabb exhorts, challenges, and confronts the reader to discard what he perceives as an emasculated view of the church’s role in society on all levels, instead embracing the Scriptural mandates and promised empowerment to be an effective force in first the lives of believers and from there the lives of others.
The book is not a mere recitation of the Riot Act to Christians equally afraid of their own shadow and determined to go it alone. Crabb points out that the way to genuine peace in Christ comes through embracing His divine empowerment, and its corresponding ramifications, in both the present day heavenly places and here on Earth. In his view, the church is painfully shortchanging itself, and its members painfully shortchanging themselves, by failing to embrace and live out the nearly unimaginable strengths available for the asking once the entirety of Biblical guidelines and promises are accepted, with tremendous emphasis on the neglected if not outright rejected supernatural portions of true life in Christ.
Liberation Front is not an easy read on multiple fronts. Crabb refuses to dumb down his writing, and as noted the book is void of warm spiritual-sounding fuzzies designed to make the reader feel good about him or herself regardless of where they are in life. But for the believer seeking adherence to, and clarification of, his or her true place in the church, the church’s true place in the world, and what God has in mind for His Bridegroom the Church, Liberation Front is as vital and mind/heart/soul-expanding as it gets in today’s world.
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
What does it mean to be genuine?
On the surface, that might seem like a rather odd, and obvious, question. Being genuine means being real. It entails authenticity. It incorporates truthful thoughts and emotions, working together with heart, soul, and spirit to be who we actually are, not who we think we are or wish to be. Or at least it ought to. Simple enough.
That said, being genuine does not always imply positives. If someone is an open-faced jerk, liar, abuser, or what have you, they are to their infinitesimally minute credit at least making no pretense regarding their character, or to be more precise lack thereof. Being genuine is hardly automatic eligibility for receiving time off due to good behavior.
Very few are genuine about what tears at them from within or without. The abuse victim carefully disguises her bruises with makeup and her emotional/mental scars with rationalizations they are somehow just punishment for her sins. The addict hides the bottle or weed or pills or syringe or powder or crystals from all save fellow addicts, to everyone else denying there is any problem while insisting they are complete masters of their preferred poison. The person being chewed up and spit out by the depression monster puts on the happiest of faces as they publicly trip the light fantastic and privately desperately try to not trip over their lying mind’s monotrack insistence there is no relief and no hope. We dream of peace and love. Far too many among us find neither.
Far too many of us also do what we can to avoid the genuine, for the genuine bears truth and truth can be most unkind to our aforementioned beliefs regarding who we are as compared to, well, truth. Many seek diversion via what athletes refer to as false hustle. False hustle makes a great show of demonstrating determination and grit. In fact, it is empty showboating, an attempt to window dress affecting that which is already determined. An example of this is a baseball player ferociously chasing down a foul pop up that everyone in the ballpark knows will land ten rows back in the seats. Outside of sports, false hustle commonly manifests itself as purporting oneself to be providing a great service by doing a great work when in Realville it is so much bell ringing within an echo chamber.
So what to do? The master of both shimmering pop and soul stripped bare blues says it best:
Seize the moment now
There’s so little time before it’s gone
Redemption is at hand
No matter what chemical you’ve taken on
And if you use another plan
It’s got to be the Genuine
The One Great Genuine is Christ, crucified and risen. Yet there are other elements of genuine. The kind word, the listening ear, the lifting up of a fellow ragtag soldier as each helps carry the other through this world’s minefields; these, too, are genuine. Such things are often drowned out in a world that mistakes drawing attention as validation. Yet they, not the noisemakers, are genuine.
Seek the genuine.
Twenty-two years ago, popular music was drenched in and defined by alternative rock. Although grunge was reeling from Kurt Cobain’s suicide the previous year, artists spanning the alt world – Live, Alanis Morrisette, The Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains – all had number one albums. Even as mainstream artists such as Hootie and the Blowfish burned brightly and then quickly faded away, it was alt rock that commanded the lion’s share of media attention and acclaim.
One would think given its lifelong penchant for aping the regular music world, in 1995 the Christian music industry would have been pumping out anything in flannel with a fuzztone as it attempted to cash in … er, reach the world by promoting artists attuned to the latest style in tunes. There were a few efforts, but to a one they made scarcely a dent in the regular music world’s conscious, let alone among the music-buying public (yes, kids, there was a time when people had to buy the music they wanted to hear instead of turning on Spotify and variations thereof to get it all for free or near-free). This left the handful of artists who played Christian alternative rock tucked into a cul-de-sac well off popular music’s main road. They were cherished by the faithful few who managed to find out said artists existed despite the profound absence of promotion and airplay within Christian music. Sadly, they were completely passed over by the mainstream audience that couldn’t get enough of artists and bands mining the same tuneful veins who ofttimes were the artistic inferiors of Christian artists, yet received all glory and praise while others languished in near total obscurity for the primary reason of those responsible for promoting these deserving artists being either unable to, or unwilling to, get the word out. One such band we today acknowledge, namely The Prayer Chain. Having recently put its 1995 and final studio album Mercury on its Bandcamp page provides the perfectly opportunity for unveiling this unknown slice of brilliance.
Rooted in Southern California, The Prayer Chain was on a record label owned by the management team that had made Amy Grant into a pop star. Yet even with this, it had not the slightest idea how to get the word out about this ferociously creative band. Apparently they were too busy blackballing me from the Christian music journalism world to undertake such an effort. But, that is a tale told elsewhere; back to Mercury.
The Prayer Chain was at its inception a fairly straightforward Christian rock band, albeit one with its sound firmly rooted in alternative rock’s aggressive guitar persona. The first hint this was not going to be a band prone to invitation at your local youth praise and worship session was 1993’s Shawl, when, on its first song, over a background chorus resembling an American Indian ghost dance chant fueled by peyote vocalist Tim Taber intoned ‘Shine is dead.’ For the record, “Shine” was the title of the band’s most upbeat Christianese song from its 1992 debut EP. From there, Shawl repeatedly bared its fangs, mixing songs such as one about a father abandoning his young son amid rich, florid without being pretentious Christian imagery. As superb as Shawl was, it only hinted at what was to come.
Mercury was originally presented to the record label in 1994 under the title Humb, an effort that so freaked out the powers that be they demanded some songs be removed altogether, other shuffled in play order, many remixed and reworked, and would you boys kindly record something new for the album we can actually release in the Christian marketplace. By this time in its brief lifespan the band was already falling apart, but it managed to put together the requested new track (“Sky High”). Yet even with this, The Prayer Chain maintained a fair amount of the anarchistic spirit that permeated the work; “Sky High” clocked in at a totally radio friendly exactly nine minutes.
Even in its slightly muted form as compared to the original, Mercury isn’t so much an album as a collection of cohesive chaos. A thick layer of effect-laden guitar sometimes drones and sometimes screams – quite regularly both simultaneously – as it swirls in and around slithery, frequently distorted bass lines, with drums more akin to an acidic percussionist than standard timekeeping completing the foundation for vocals from midnight in the garden where good and evil do battle. Had any of its standout tracks – “Waterdogs,” “Creole,” “Grylliade,” the list goes on – would have turned the mainstream alt rock world on its ear had they ever been brought to the attention of said ear. Which they weren’t. And so Mercury, and The Prayer Chain, regrettably slid out of view.
If you have any taste for raw, real music, don’t let past mistakes prevent you from seizing on this dark masterpiece. Get thee to the band’s Bandcamp site and buy Mercury today. It will shake you up for all the right reasons.
Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That You can heal these wounds of yesterday
So now I’m asking You
To do what You want to do
Be the Lord of my past
Oh how I want You to
Be the Lord of the past
— from “Lord Of The Past” by Bob Bennett
This past Sunday, the mysterious yet not mythical Mrs. Dude and I were in Southern California attending a concert featuring three veterans of contemporary Christian music back when it was still called that: Bob Bennett, Michele Pillar, and Kelly Willard. Each would take a turn performing one of their songs with the other artists providing backing vocals where suggested, all unobtrusively backed by a smooth instrumental quartet featuring respected studio and stage (over twenty years backing Neil Diamond live) guitarist Hadley Hockensmith.
During one of his times Bennett dusted off one of his more obscure tunes. Originally released as a new track to enhance a long out of print compilation, later rerecorded for a mostly stripped down release featuring him alone with his guitar, Bennett introduced “Lord of the Past” by commenting on the song’s core message, adding how many mistakenly believe that Jesus’ forgiving, via the Cross, the penalty of our sins is commensurate with eliminating the consequences of our sin. In short, no it does not. Which can be a very, very hard lesson to learn.
There is a danger in assuming the above translates solely into our needing to accept the consequences of our actions toward others. Certainly this factors into the matter; accepting ownership of the fallout from what we have done is a vital part of any believer’s walk with Christ. That said, it is not the only part. What we do in regard to the consequences of actions by others toward us also matters. Sometimes, it is the primary action item on our life agenda.
The past several weeks have seen a torrent of harsh, often horrid accusations and occasional, pathetic recriminations regarding men in positions of power abusing their status by using it as a conduit for sexually harassing women up to and including rape. There is no excuse, nor justification, for this. Nor is there acceptability for telling abused women they need to get over it and get on with it. A woman who has had that which is intended for the divine, the expression of passionate love between man and wife that also symbolizes the passion of Christ the Bridegroom for His bride the church, threatened or stolen cannot reasonably be expected to simply hit the “what’s done is done” switch and sing hey nonny nonny as she merrily goes on her way. The violation of body, mind, and soul demands deep care to regain so much as basic societal functionality, let alone true healing.
Christianity is at its heart about forgiveness: the forgiveness offered by Jesus on the Cross; His command to His followers to forgive others even as they are forgiven by Him. While Scripture tells us God “forgets” that for which He forgives the penitent, forgiveness on an earthly level is not forgetting what others have done. It is freeing oneself from the penalty of being burdened by the actions of others. The consequences remain, yet we are no longer bound by them. New life is available.
In the same fashion, while the consequences of our past actions toward ourself and others live on, we do not have to forever live under their specter. One of depression’s most hideous lies is conflating the inescapability of our past actions consequences with said actions forever defining our present and future state of being. We are more than the sum total of our past. We are infused, transformed by the Holy Spirit. We are not condemned to repeat the past. The next time does not have to be a recycling of the last time. Today does not have to be yesterday.
The past can be and ofttimes is far better or far worse than our present. We cannot change the past. We can resolve to live our lives in the here and now, embracing today even as we embrace Christ. We can allow Him to embrace us, finding in Him healing and hope in the here and now. We can give to Him that which we can neither deny or change — namely, the past — and let the eternal Lord do what only the eternal Lord can do. He wants to help. He wants to heal.
Will we let Him?