Last summer, just days before I started IMRT (radiation therapy), my husband and I were at a beach about an hour away from the hospital where my treatment would take place. It had been about 6 years since I had been at any beach and its proximity called to me, encouraged me to come and find some ease before I had to go through the toughest medical crisis I have faced.
While we were there, I continued to reflect on how I would find or make forgiveness for my job loss that happened 7 months prior. The difficulties around that relationship were, I believe, a major contributing factor in my illness, so I had (have) a deep sense that my body healing and recovering are inseparable from my psycho-spiritual healing. I knew that somehow I needed to find a way to forgive in order to recover, but that wasn’t easy. A month of intensive counseling therapy had not moved me forward as much as I had hoped.
As we walked along the seawall, we saw several kites flying in the gusty sea breeze. As I watched, the kites became a parable and told me a story.
The kite was a package of my anger, pain, grief and frustration-my brokenness. I could fly the kite in the wind and gradually let out the string, the kite flying higher and higher. As I worked to let go of the pain, I could let the line out and the kite would get closer and closer to God. I set a goal to be able to let that kite fly high into the sky, to the point where it became so small in my view that I’d be able to let go of the string. And God would take away the kite.
How many times have you heard a preacher or other religious Christian speaker talk about giving something over to God? How many times have you heard “let go and let God”?
I’ve tried. God knows I’ve tried. But God can’t take away the things we won’t let go of. I couldn’t let go of the pain that easily. I must be a glutton for punishment, but I have revisited that pain near daily, sometimes hourly, in the last 20 months.
As I have worked with great intentionality, it has reached the point where the obsession has waned, and pieces/peaces of forgiveness and grace have emerged, pushing through like crocus bulbs in late winter. After the spring came in genuine force I realized that with the melting of the snow and ice came also a melting of my ice-shrouded heart- grace has been breaking through. The kite string has been lengthened, pulled back in, set flying again, pulled back in, let out some more, and pulled back again. Sometimes the kite has crashed back to earth and I have stood over it, giving it more attention and energy than it should be worthy of.