Saturday, April 17, 2010

the bag lady

Some years back, Wayne Jacobsen wrote on his blog, "I am convinced we keep sorting out our hurts (snip) as long as Jesus hasn't become a real person to live with each day. Once he becomes real to us, those hurts get healed and we can move on to so many other things he has for us."

The words I have included here are the ones Father seemed to underscore for me that day as I read Wayne's blog. (forgive the 'snip' please, Wayne) I caught a partial reflection in that mirror which is so blurry. The picture was not along the subject line of Wayne's conversation, but the words He underscored punched the 'view' button for me.

The picture was of a woman, tired, old and worn - hunched over. She was carrying a large, lumpy bag over her shoulder which looked quite heavy and weighed her down greatly. She had a very difficult time even walking very far with it on her back. Many times she would slip and fall.

I saw her sit down on the ground and place the bag in front of her. She then carefully opened the bag and gently removed something from it. She held the 'thing' close to her, and then turned it over repeatedly, studying it intently. It seemed that she even talked to it. Sometimes she would clutch the 'thing' tightly to her chest, rocking back and forth while great grief was on her face. At times the tears poured out of her eyes and once or twice she broke into heart-rending sobs.

She took other items out of the bag - sometimes with heavy sorrow, other times with intense anger. Bewilderment seemed to be present with some of the 'things'.
This went on for a long time, and then she finally put all the items back into the bag. She got up very slowly, with great difficulty picked up the bag, put it back over her shoulder, and went her way.

I saw her go through the same actions many times. At some point, I became aware that each time the woman sat down with her bag, a gentle and kind man would approach her. He looked upon her with much compassion and love and quietly spoke with her. He seemed to be asking her for something for he would extend his hands out to her. At first, she ignored him or shooed him away. Occasionally she talked with him a little but then clutched her bag, shook her head at him and waved him away again.

I asked what all this meant. He whispered to my heart that the woman represents those of us who carry a very heavy burden upon our shoulders and backs. Sometimes we clutch it to our breast and sometimes even proudly show how large and heavy our bag is to those we meet. I asked what was in the bag and He whispered that it is filled with dead bones. I asked what the bones mean and again He whispered that they are the bones of the past; hurts, disappointments, losses of all kinds, rejections, robberies, abuses, failures, misunderstandings and a multitude more.

He whispered that the gentle man is the Good Shepherd Who longs to take away the heavy burden of those hurts. He desires to give us beauty for those ashes and revive us with the oil of joy in exchange for our mourning. He yearns for us not to be weighed down with our past any longer.

Nevertheless, some of us will not part with those bones.

Do not remember the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43.18-19

1 comment:

Eve-Loraine said...

Earlier this week the district nurse called. I didn't know her and had no idea what she believed but we started talking and she shared a very similar picture to your bag lady. She had asked God about all the peopole with problems that came into her life and He gave her the picture.