One beautiful morning, I turned onto a recently repaved, free of debris road without potholes typical of many thoroughfares with scorching and freezing weather. It was a peaceful drive made better by the smoothness of the street. (It’s often the little things that make us smile.)
Significant issues must be remediated before laying new asphalt, creating a pothole, ruts, debris-free, more pleasant to drive road. I thought about the similarities between that road and “life,” “home,” and “relationships.” Many of us often cover up what we don’t want to see (or don’t want others to see).
Like putting fresh coats of paint on our homes, to hide the “wear and tear,” if we cover over our unmitigated personal stuff: pain, fear, unhappiness, rage, it doesn’t go away; we’ve simply hidden it.
Many things can’t be easily “fixed.” We can’t un-break broken hearts, un-hear words that maimed our spirit, un-speak comments made out of anger, un-feel the pain of loneliness, abandonment of betrayal. But, hiding those pains doesn’t make them go away.
If a child falls on a gravel playground,cutting her knee, you comfort her, dry her tears, clean her wound, and bandage it. You don’t grab a used dishcloth, slap it on her cut, and send her on her way; you remove anything that could be problematic. It may hurt for a while, and she may end up with a scar, but it was lovingly dealt with, and she knew she was worth taking care of.
Suppose you received a gorgeous box. The present inside was thoughtful, but the container was stunning. You save it knowing you’ll put a gift in it for someone else. But before you do that, you make sure there’s nothing left inside. You have to empty the box to put something new in it.
I know plenty of people who enjoy”retail therapy.” A new sweater, pair of earrings, or set of golf clubs cheers them up. It may allow them to temporarily forget what they don’t have. Maybe it deadens pain, disappointment, or sadness a bit. (Maybe they simply love consumerism.) We can put new possessions into a closet, garage, or cabinet, but if we don’t deal with all the things already there, it’s like a bandage covering a festering wound. Eventually, you end up with a home full of “stuff” that reminds you of what you didn’t deal with.
On that newly-paved road was a sign: “no pavement markings,” alerting drivers to be cautious and not veer toward the wrong side. Nothing’s guiding you; the lines have been covered over.
Sometimes we’re better off without pavement markings.
Sometimes we need a fresh coat of paint or a beautiful new dress.
Sometimes we have to bandage a wound.
We just have to be careful about what we’re not dealing with. We have to be aware of what we’re covering up.
May God bless our hurting world.
May today bring you joy and love.
May today bring you peace.
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