Sunday, May 30, 2010

Of All the Things I've Ever Lost...

Grandma had a very unique magnet which read "Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most." Many things in my grandparents home were unique and special; their wood-burning stove, twisting green carpeted stairs, the little hole in one of the bedrooms beneath the crib where you could see and speak to whoever was in the living room. The front and back porches, the bird houses, the vegetable gardens, the covered spot for a picnic table, the pictures of my uncles and my mother as children, the tree that was just perfect for climbing, the rail road tracks that could shake the whole house when a train went by, the clip clop of the Amish (or was it Mennonite?) black buggies passing by. And then there was Grandpa's greenhouse where he put his grandchildren to work preparing soil, transplanting, or in the case of my brother, using power tools at a very young age. Grandma was sure to have some cookies and juice at our break time, and we would have our big meal at lunch time. I had enough leisure time to reread a Lori Wick series every year, peruse several other interesting books, and to explore around the area... I remember a very interesting cemetery nearby. My favourite part of the week other than receiving my wages, which might have been equally exciting, was when Grandpa took us to the used bookstore and we could pick out five books. That's where I got my copy of Gone With the Wind, my own copy of Little Women, and some interesting comic books. Every year my grandparents would think of some kind of outing we would probably enjoy... Boblo (sp?) Island is the one I recall most vividly.
So of all things I have ever lost the things I miss the most are:
1. My child-like sense of wonder and awe
2. My innocence and steadfast belief in the good motives of others
3. My compassion in which I can enter into the pain someone else is feeling
4. My trust that doesn't need all the answers to be able to relax in the embrace of love.
5. My grandparents themselves including my Opa, and Grandma and Grandpa
6. My confidence that if I try my best, things are going to work out.
7. My sense of purity in thought, emotions, and actions. To compare myself to a stream, I would say the water is somewhat stagnant, murky, and slow moving and manifestly polluted by the foam on the sides of the banks.


Anonymous said...

Your list is really interesting. I miss many of the same things.

I'm struck by a theme though.

Look over your list again: what idea do they all share?

It looks to me like they all echo an idealised world of good.

A child like sense of wonder? That one's a given.
A belief in the good motives of others? That's a desire not to experience other people doing evil. Compassion? Why, that's the opposite of callousness. Not needing to know all the answers? That's a wish to not know of doubt. Grandparents themselves? They embody the innocent ideal, as grandparents do. Purity of your own thoughts? That's a wish to have never discovered your dark side.

In other words, it's like you have seen the dark underside of life, and now you wish you could unsee it.

You can't, of course, but there is a upside to coming face to face with the nasty side of the world.

It's not until you encounter the fullness of human depravity that you can really start to appreciate our need for a saviour. Until you discover just how stagnant and impure your own river is, the salvific work of Christ will always be a little bit "oh, right then, thanks for that, eh?"

The other nice side of it is the realisation of God's love. That is, all this stuff you've realised, it's not news to him: he already knew you were manifestly polluted when he declared his love for you. *That's* the you that he bestowed love upon.

Suzanne said...

You have once again hit the nail on the head. I have gotten a clear view of the dark side of myself and many other things, and I do wish it were possible to go back to the garden. I wish I could be innocent again, but the truth is I never was truly innocent. It is only when you have journeyed into the darkness that you appreciate the light and the grace that you have not deserved. I guess that's the very definition of grace...