Letting Go

This place so different from Tennessee

There the predominant color is green

The mountains rising all around you

Here the color is blue

The pale blue of the sky subtle against the deep green-blue of the water below

Hills instead of mountains

Mirroring the gentle rise of waves

The sky so still this morning

Its wispy clouds barely moving

Hard to discern against the blue of sky

While the lake beneath is restless

Waves curl and flatten


Like a couple these two

The sky and water

Opposites attracting

But it is always the sound that strikes me first

If quiet were to have a sound, this would be it

The waves strike the shore with a steady beat

While the wind conducts the leaves on the trees

All along the shore

Even quiet whispering of leaves

Seeming loud when there are so many

The beads of water glisten on the dock

Shimmering in phosphorescent glory

Looking almost like the tiny scales of a reptile

Against the newly varnished planks of the dock

I came here with some unresolved bitterness

Buried pretty deeply

I brushed it away almost as soon as I felt it coming

But it left crumbs behind

Dark corners where spiders weave their webs

Places and people I avoid

Knowing the spiders lurk there

Where bitterness still festers

Why do we even hold on to bitterness?

It’s such an ugly thing

Rotting and noxious

It says that it needs to punish

The one who’s hurt us

But we know it does no such thing

The wound is ours

Not theirs

And we are the ones who keep picking at the flesh

Keeping the scab from forming

No one likes being around a bitter person

Like being inside a house overrun with spiders

You might get bitten

Its poison an unseen malevolence

And so I take the broom of prayer

The detergent of God’s Word

And spray truth into the corners of my heart

I feel the hurt again

The sting of betrayal

My quick job of pretending it didn’t bother me

Did not sweep any of this away

Pretending its not there

Is not the same as cleaning house

To be the gentle person I long to be

The one who does no harm

Means I must let all of it go

I cannot hold on to a single strand

There must only be grace

And mercy

Believing the best

Even knowing the worst

Prepared to offer food and drink to my enemy

A place at my table

The respect they never offered to me

Without God this is impossible

But with Him it is not only possible

It’s expected

To remain the same as the world

Repaying wrong for wrong

Simply isn’t an option given to us

So I cry out to the Lord

And leave it with him

The hurt of it

The injustice of it

I taste the salt tears

And the steady wind of this place

Sweeps them away

For the weeds must be removed before flowers can bloom

And the cobwebs must not be allowed in corners

If I want to keep the spiders away

At the end of the day

I will never prove my critics wrong

If I hold on to a bitter spirit

That would only prove them right

So I lean into the wind

Lean into Jesus

The sun coming out

Warming the very air around me

Lighting the waves

So you can see to the bottom

The clouds still wispy and light

Unchanging and endless

So many shades of blue

It would be impossible to capture all of them on canvas

Or even through a lens

My hair blowing about me like the leaves on the trees

There is freedom in letting go

And peace in obedience

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