Saturday, April 9, 2011


In the book Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie (which is a favorite book from my childhood), there is a scene in which the narrator describes the inside of a child's mind as something that can be dusted and put in order, like a little office room or a secret country. According to Mr. Barrie, all good mothers (or all mothers; I don't remember how he words it and I don't have the book with me right now to check) tidy up their children's minds in the evening after the children have fallen asleep, seeing their thoughts and putting things in their proper places.

This picture of the human mind fascinated me (OK, maybe that should be present tense). I altered it a little bit, and tend to imagine my mind as a place with a lot of filing cabinets, or at least desks with drawers. My mind could be like a room filled with boxes, some locked, some open, some neat, some messy, and some thoughts and feelings properly in boxes and others strewn around the floor or on top of the tables. Some things are out in the open for me or others to look at freely . . . others, in secret hidy-holes meant only for my eyes . . . others, locked away in boxes which I don't want to open again. Memories, hopes, dreams, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, all the things that have ever passed through my mind.

I have a tendency to put things that pain me away in boxes, to look at "later". Sometimes later means the next morning. Sometimes the next week. Sometimes the next year. Sometimes, and I say this not proudly, even longer. I know that I ought to want to bring them all to God for His healing touch, but to bring them out of their boxes is to feel them again, and I don't want to reach for that key. Sometimes a circumstance, a person, or a thought, brings me back to one of those things against my will, and I ought perhaps to be grateful for the chance at healing, but instead I say within myself, "Thanks for bringing up such an unpleasant subject! While you're at it, why don't you give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?"*

Unfortunately for the part of me that wants to leave those boxes locked, sitting quietly in the corner, the echoes of the things that I refused to deal with at the time don't go away if I keep ignoring them. They are bound to come up again. Some of them would interfere with the future, some with the present, but all unhealed wounds interfere with my being the whole person that God intends me to be. And lately, He has been asking me to let Him into those boxes, so that, like the mothers in Peter Pan, He can put me back in order. He can replace lies with the truth, hurt with healing, neglect with love, misunderstanding with empathy, ashes with beauty, selfishness with a true servant's heart. He can make me the person that He wants me to be.

God, Father God, thank You for being more stubborn for my good than I am. Thank You for loving me more truly than I love myself. I want to give You the keys to every corner of my heart, to give You free reign in me. Please give me the peace and the courage to keep coming to You with every splinter and the confidence to know that You are seeking what is truly best.

*Feel free to correct my wording. I didn't look it up to check. If you don't get it, go watch The Princess Bride

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