Once I see something, I can’t not see it anymore.
There’s no denying that at times it would be nice to be able to shake my head like the old-fashioned Etch a Sketch – just erase that image or thought or idea and replace it with a new one. My husband and I joke about it a lot. When we see something disgusting we shake our head and laugh and say “Etch A Sketch brain!!” Guarantees a laugh and makes the moment of icky-ness less icky.
I have been struggling A LOT over the past few years with deciding if I live in the present-past, or the present-future ( thanks to Graham Cooke for coining these terms). We all look back and wish we could have done something different. Truth of the matter, we didn’t do it different. I think that all we can hope for is to be able to understand how the ‘then and there’ affects the ‘here and now’, and what to do about it in the future. Easy to say, not so easy to do, right?
So I describe myself as a Christian – always have. Church goer? I dabbled a lot over the years. I could tell anyone to “Keep the Faith”, but I didn’t have any. Got confronted and challenged by a very scary man in a church 25 years ago: Did I truly know Jesus as my Lord and Savior?!!!!! I said sure, because, well, he scared me. I had no clue what he was talking about or why he was coming at me so strong. Nope, didn’t hang around for the donuts that day………..and took a long break from churches in favor of visiting “The Church of the Big Blue Dome” (aka going outside for some beauty and inspiration.)
My sister wasn’t a church goer (I think she met a few of those scary people too). She was a believer. She was with our Mum when she died. She said Mum was struggling in her last moments with leaving despite being terribly sick. My sister heard herself say, “Mum, it is OK to go be with Dad”. Mum lifted her arm skyward, smiled and passed. My sister said she looked out the window at an early November Maine blizzard and wondered how she could do this alone – and then she experienced peace. Wow….. Wow…..
I was faced a couple days after she told me this story with letting my sweet sister go………Two ICU nurses were slowly disconnecting the lines and tubes…….when one of them said to me, “Do you pray?” I was moved then, as I never had been before, to speak my heart in prayer and I felt that same ‘next world’ awareness. I don’t want to Etch A Sketch this experience at all – despite needing a couple years to be able to admit that.
What would I like to Etch A Sketch in my brain? Remembering the times when I was young and said or did something cruel to another little kid in the school yard. The desperate cries of the young woman not ready to die that died anyway, angry and afraid. The man lying in the doorway in Cleveland on a very cold winter night that I just walked right by……………….while this list is much longer, you get the idea. In fact, I am sure you could add your own stuff to this list, if you haven’t started to already.
It could be really sad to end this story here, but it turns out there is an alternative to wishing for an Etch A Sketch…….I am very motivated about living present-future. There is so much joy and hope wrapped into that frame of mind! Stepping out toward the future is truly exciting. And phenomenally peaceful. In church today, I was personally reminded that there are a lot of people who seem to have known this source of peace for a long time, and I just missed it until a couple years ago.
Today’s video is truly awe inspiring. For me, it is awe inspiring because of the message it brings as well as the phenomenal musical delivery, but mostly it is awe inspiring because of the age of the people performing and in the audience. I had to wait a long time to be this excited…..and now I want everyone to be this happy. To think all of this has been there all along and I missed it………..dang.
Have a look at it – regardless of your beliefs. I hope you see and sense completely non threatening, non judgmental faith. It is where I live now – amidst a movement about the most simple, yet profound idea ever.
Love really is that wonderful. Good morning Mum. I finally get it, I really do. No worries. No Etch A Sketch needed. From the bottom of my heart, “Enjoy”.