Three nights ago, I dreamed that I was being abused and the only source of comfort in my life was the abuser. All my surroundings were dark and empty. The abuser was the only one in my mind’s picture.
When he purchased, with my awareness, the tool he planned to use for my death, all I saw was him and that. He spoke to someone, but I could not see them. Nor could they see me.
Having run out of the resilience to fight, I rested my soul in the kindness of my abuser, feeling comfort from the presence of a human. This surrender to rest was all while knowing full well what was to be done to me at his very hands and will.
I could not fight anymore. I needed rescue. I could not look for rescue anymore. I needed rest. My human strength was gone.
Dreams Can Be Reality
The story above was a dream. A scary dream, but a dream nonetheless.
Reality is that the world has countless, horrific tragedies that are not dreams. I wonder how anyone experiencing the effects of psychological trauma can truly benefit from watered-down stories that are not real?
If I do not tell authentic (and factual) accounts of real situations and struggles, how will I be able to tell of God’s authentic rescue? To modify the canvas on which God paints is to potentially remove the context where the artist was able to transform the original problem into a beautiful solution.
Telling the Truth
There are reasons we are tempted to change hard stories when we share them. Modifying the truth may make a story more palatable to the hearers. It may also make the story easier to share if an altered version frees you from the possibility of shame or embarrassment. Are those good reasons to eliminate the hard points?
What if the modified story takes away the opportunity to show God’s faithfulness that is not only amazing grace, but also hidden without the ugly, original truth?
A Note on Sharing Authentically
When telling a story, there are a few perspectives that can be shared.
- Objective facts.
- My perspective, in which I may be tempted to speculate, judge, blame and paint a picture where I look pretty, and others look however suits my mood.
- God’s perspective, as much as I can learn to filter and share the past and present through the lens of the gospel.
The fact that option #2 exists is a major risk of honesty. God is not always pleased with my perspective, nor is my perspective of value if it is not submitted to His. What I choose to share must first be filtered with prayer to align my heart as much as possible with God’s perspective. Any responses in my heart that are not honoring to God or humble in my place as a human among humans, I pray He will set right.
Rescue and Rest
The heart can be a scary, ugly place. It takes courage to see what’s in there. The process can be really hard, and the hardest part is finding endless dead ends.
In the human heart, there are endless conflicts. Endless trails of thinking that seem so right until you see the endless flaws when human ideas are juxtaposed with those of a holy God. That’s some really grievous news.
Wade through the grief to acceptance, and then you’re ready for rescue. If you’re like me, only when you’re worn down enough to completely give up do you open yourself to the idea of rescue. At that point, you can no longer look for rescue. You need rest.
God is both rescue and rest.