“Breaking Those Chains”
The graphic at right is one that Gayle Newton posted on our Facebook Page this past week, and one that fits so well with our Lenten theme, “Breaking the Chains: From Captivity to Freedom.”
It speaks the truth of so many of our lives in the way pain becomes a pattern across generations. One person is abused, hurt, betrayed, abandoned. They grow up and, instead of healing, they too abuse, hurt, betray and abandon.
It is a very difficult thing to break such a pattern … to be the one who decides “this ends with me.” It takes hard work, almost always with a trained therapist, to pull such ingrained behavior out by its roots. It also takes time to do the work … because at base much of the work is acknowledging and then healing old grief … all that grief that underlies such behavior.
An article I read recently spoke of the loneliness that is becoming so normal for so many Americans. Nearly half say they sometimes or always feel alone or left out. Thirteen percent say that zero people know them well.
Our inability to fill that “hole” of loneliness only adds to our darkness. As a friend recently said, “Grief lies to you. It will convince you that you are alone and there is only darkness ahead of you.”
The pain we continue to carry in our lives when we do not heal, when we do not break the chains that keep us captive, only adds to that darkness.
Likewise, the freedom that follows in the wake of healing becomes a bright light in that darkness … not only for the one healing but also for the generations that follow. Such healing truly breaks chains. The church can be an important part of such healing because we can be an antidote to loneliness. We offer community, we offer kind words and support … and that undergirds healing because it helps to remove that loneliness… helps others to know they do not have to hold their pain alone … that we will help … that we will walk with them ….until it can be healed.