I have been guilty of trying to make the picture of my life look better than it is.
Why do we do that? Why do we cut out the unpleasant parts of our lives, the pain, the mistakes, and paste them in a place where no one will see?
I took the picture below in the hills high above Palm Springs. I thought the tree looked interesting, but was more drawn to the landscape beyond. The tree looks ugly compared to the view of the horizon. Some might say it distracts from the overall picture, ruining the lovely shot that attracts most people.
But the truth is, the tree is a genuine component of the whole picture. And our past pain is the same in the portrait of our life.
Sure, I could have moved a few steps and the tree would not have been in the mix. I could have fooled everyone into seeing only what I wanted them to see – beauty unmarred by the mark of the pain that helped form me.
But that wouldn’t be honest.
Not that we have to share all our pain and mistakes with the world. The world doesn’t care that much. It’s our own well being that suffers when we reject the things God has allowed in our lives, and use them only for our pity parties rather than use them to benefit someone else.
The naked, crooked trees in my life can be my tools if I let them. If I make peace with them instead of dangle them like a badge of prideful sacrifice.
Have you cut and pasted your life’s picture? Do you tend to use your pain as trophies or tools? Have you made peace with your past hurts?