A DROP FOR YOUR BUCKET: Scars (or Eastertide Reflection)

My 9-year old son has a gnarly scar going down much of his right leg. Sometimes we call it his shark bite. He ran through a non-tempered sliding glass door at a friend’s house and had to have 60 stitches.

It was a terrifying call to get only three days into my long trip last summer to see our girls and staff in Cebu. Fortunately, I have an amazing husband and friends who helped me feel ok to stay in Cebu. Now, almost a year later, I still have moments when I wonder if that was the right decision. When we were reunited three weeks later, it was really obvious that he was still working through a trauma, not just from the physical wound, but from the terror of the moment that caused it. I found myself looking through old pictures last night and wondered aloud with my husband if our son would ever have that gleam in his eye again. He’s a generally happy kid still, but there’s a spark that still seems to be missing at times.

Because I think in metaphors, I have found myself thinking about how that experience relates to Good Friday and Easter…and to our girls.

Good Friday is the moment of terror. Good Friday is the moment when everything changed and Life itself was ripped open to reveal a depth of questions, pain, and uncertainty. Good Friday is the moment when our instinct is often to turn away, but it is also the invitation to tune in. I saw this quote on the instagram page of CAST Los Angeles yesterday.

“Learn to listen to your pain, it is providing you with useful information about how you interact with yourself and what needs to be healed and liberated.”

–JESS TORRES, CAST Survivor Coordinator (credit: @castlonsangeles)

Easter is the hope. Easter is the revelation that Life is not gone. It may look and feel different. We may have a heightened awareness about its fragility and tenderness, but it is still there for us.

Easter Hope

I grew up in an area that was predominantly Protestant. The crosses I saw all around me were always empty. They always pointed to the Resurrection..to Life after Death. I worked at a Catholic agency in Chicago for almost 15 years. The crosses I saw all around me there were always occupied. They pointed to the Crucifixion…to bearing witness of pain and Death. As I have grown over the years, I have come to deeply value that you cannot have one without the other.

I am now three years into my work with My Refuge House. I am so proud of the way we build relationships with our girls. I marvel at our ability to create room to tune in and hold pain in order to that our girls might know true liberation.

For both the visible and invisible scars in our lives: They are reminders of pain. They are also reminders that we can heal and experience Life anew.

On this Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I hope you will create some meaningful time to reflect on what has passed before and look forward with Hope to what will come.

With Peace, Heather

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least a drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.

I have not been sharing all my running thoughts lately, but I’m still training for a 5K next week. I always love running with friends. Please email me ([email protected]) if you would like to join me for one of my future runs. If you would like to invest in the work of My Refuge House, please click below. However you engage with us, it is important. Thank you for being part of our journey and doing what you can to be a Restorer.