Saturday, January 2, 2016

Broken Remants

I walked along the beach yesterday, bracing myself against the wind and cold. Decaying fish and broken shells dredged from gulf depths marked the sand, still packed and dark from rain that had pelted the shore. I walked around the rotting carcasses. I bent often to salvage some intact shells from among shards, grateful the storms had brought to shore more than the usual number of pickings.

It is the nature and the power of a storm to surface what is beneath the surface. This is as true with the storms of life as it is of storms along the shore. The turbulence that disturbs the placid calm of what we thought was ordinary has a way of exposing what is dead and broken.

I have seen this in my own heart and in the hearts of many who have reached out to me. For reasons not yet clear to me, I have displayed the floating wreckage of my life on public shores where casual observers and devoted friends can pick among the debris. The exposure of my deep wounds has caused many to revisit their own dark days, to bring to the surface again their broken dreams.

I am newly aware of how much grief lies just beneath the smiles of those I see in the course of daily life. I am saddened by how often I have strolled along the shore of life with these same friends and failed to see their hidden pain. I resolve to be a more intent observer, a better listener and more caring friend.

Healing happens when together we pick through broken remnants, when we reclaim what is still beautiful and turn our back on what is dead.