Friday, October 8, 2010

The Crucible

Crucible. What comes to mind? either some book I was forced to read in tenth grade English or that funny thing my husband uses in his pharmacy. As I look back over this last month, the fires of life have melted me beyond recognition. I have screamed out to God, "what on earth were You thinking?" Have you ever had a nightmare return for a second time?
Oswald Chambers courageously said, "If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people." Then God, pour me out like warm, fragrant oil.
On August 18th my father slipped off his boat and shattered his left arm and broke his right leg in two places below the knee. He's been in the hospital ever since. My mother's heart quakes at any change. So she quit eating and drinking and found herself in renal failure. She now is in a nursing facility fighting the desire to die.
Three years ago my father crashed his motorcycle and broke nearly every bone on the right side of his body. My mother ended up having shock treatment. God, how can we be here again?! Disaster is not supposed to come back a second time, don't You know that? Abuse should only happen once. Deployment. Miscarriage. Divorce. I'll stick with You through one "slip up" of evil, but two? Now You're pushing it.
Have you ever felt that you missed the final exam? that God was teaching you something and you don't want to go 'round this mulberry bush again? In my anguish He reminded me of a favorite part in the Narnia chronicles. In The Horse and His Boy, Aravis (the heroine) and her horse Hwin encounter Aslan for the first time. Aslan explains that He tore Aravis' back because she needed to know what it felt like. She had drugged her stepmother's slave, and the slave was punished. Feeling ashamed and scared, Aravis asks, "will any more harm come to her by what I did?" "Child," said the Lion, "I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own."
As I cried out to God asking why has this evil returned a second time to my parents, Aslan whispered, "It's not your story." Really? You mean I'm not responsible for saving them? for carrying them? Why do I look for someone to blame? Because I don't want it to be my fault. I journaled, "You say let it go. You say You will be everything I need. Save me Jesus! Save me from this need to sustain others' lives-to keep them from feeling pain. My woundedness whispers, 'If others feel pain, it's your fault Elaine.'
In my pain, God you shout, "I've got this one, Elaine. Trust Me. Believe I have their good in mind. No matter what it looks like. And I can't fail. And I will never say you did." But God I couldn't make them love each other. "And I couldn't either. It's that free will thing. That was never your job." God, I can't make them choose. I thought if I tried really hard I could. God, I'm so sorry. I repent of playing God in their life. Only You can show them the way.
"Aslan," said Bree (the hero's horse) in a shaken voice, "I'm afraid I must rather be a fool." "Happy the Horse who knows that while he is still young. Or the Human either. Draw near, Elaine my daughter. See! My paws are velveted. You will not be torn this time," said Aslan. "Dearest daughter," said Aslan, planting a lion's kiss on her twitching velvet nose, "I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours."
Thank you Abba for receiving me in the fires of sorrow. Knowing You kiss me in the midst of my ash heap helps me receive myself.
"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life. I have wounded, and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." Deut. 32:39

No comments: