Who knew we could be influencers?
A short while ago we had the tree in our front yard removed. A sad but necessary action to prevent further damage done by the root system.
Recently I heard a cacophony from outside.
It was our neighbor having his tree cut down.
He had shared with me how his tree had caused costly repairs with roots growing into pipes and causing problems with water coming into the house.
What surprised me was the increase of sunlight to both of our yards.
We do have lots of sun here–we are after all the Sunshine State.
When you’ve grown accustomed to shadow and shade, the sun is beautiful.
There will be times when I will renege on that statement. When temperatures hover in the high 90’s and humidity is close to 100%. When it feels like my skin is melting off my bones and staying hydrated is a challenge.
I will mss the shade.
What I don’t want to do is live in that darkness. The kids come into our home and often comment on how we choose to live in a bat cave–blinds closed, little light. I grew up understanding that the darkness makes the room cooler.
Too often it hides what I don’t want seen.
I’ve become aware of how often I default to the permanent shade, to the darkness in me that doesn’t want to do the next right thing. In our more isolated condition, it’s easy to press hurt and frustration down rather than deal with it. Easier to hide my wounds rather than expose them and let them heal.
With Easter just past, this is the story. Not just Jesus tortured and hung on a cross for the wrongs we all do; not just His resurrection three days later.
He paid the price for all those things we choose to do and hide in darkness so we may have the Light of a relationship with God.
We all struggle with making good choices. I’m learning not to criticize individual attempts to do the right thing; many try to do what is good. My own challenges aren’t anyone else’s fault. I can’t blame shift or point fingers at any other person.
My biggest hindrance in life is me.
Rather like the trees in our yard and our neighbors, there was beauty in both. They added much to the landscape of our homes. In the end, they were also the problem.
I’m my biggest problem in my lack of success to do what’s honorable. I’m not being self-deprecating; I have some stellar qualities. I’m also mindful of my own darkness. And much of that is hidden where no one else can see it.
Jesus came to bring light to what can’t be seen, to expose what has been hidden, to free us from those habits, those lies that hold us captive. Easter isn’t just a celebration of Jesus conquering death.
He did that to give us Light and Life. That we might live without the weight of blame, shame, and guilt that we and others load onto our hearts and souls.
Fully forgiven. Fully loved.
No hidden roots to poison hope.