DIALOGUE occurs within us when matters of our experience are discussed. When matters of our experience are significant and deep, when suffering has transformed us, for better or worse, for instance, our ears are piqued and our hearts are intrinsically attuned to what is said. Our consciences judge implicitly. Have we been catered for? Were we acknowledged? Was what was discussed true in our experience?
When stillbirths are discussed, for instance, having a unique experience as my wife and I do, my ears prick up and my heart is inevitably engaged. When stillbirths are mentioned in my hearing, with people who know me, it is a blessing to me that my experience and my grief is acknowledged — even if it is in the past tense.
But when we are not acknowledged, something in us has the potential to die. Are we who we are? We know our image, but do others? And, is that important? (It is more important to some than it is to others.)
Because it happened it is forever important in our experience. Because it happened we cannot help but attach importance to it. Because it happened, and because of the fact it happened, God uses it to heal us within our ever growing sense of identity. The more outward the ripples of our experience tend, the more our identities are formed because of what we have experienced.
So, it happened. It has, therefore, become an essential part of us. We are incomplete now without it; without the vitalising component of our brokenness that completes us.
When what has happened — always the dark material — and sometimes it is, for the fortunate, the relief of achievement — has happened we are bigger. When what has happened happened by the providence of God — a diabolical idea replete, unfortunately, in truth — but one true all-the-same — we are blessed in simply being validated.
Simply. Completely. Irrevocably.
Part of God’s compensation that we had to endure it is that it becomes a key part of our story. What we found was terribly hard to endure actually becomes a codifier, a qualifier, to our endurance. We were made strong for what we endured. Through our weakness we were made strong. And here’s the rub: we need to be affirmed in our history: it happened! God affirms: “It happened. I know what you suffered. I know how you suffered. I know what it cost you.”
We are made because of our stories. We become what we experience.
Because our suffering happened we have become who we are today. It happened. Because of who we have become, praise God; it happened.
If it happened, it lasted for a season.
Because it happened, it had its reason.
If it happened, by it we became.
Because it happened, we will never be the same.
If it happened, it makes us what we become.
Because it happened, it adds to our sum.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.