Some days I feel like my pocket is filled with woe. Perhaps an imbalance in my brain contributes to a propensity towards depression, the cup half empty, rather than half full. Although I do not set out to choose woefulness, it certainly is a deep and fertile soil to plow, to unearth and bring to light hidden lessons. And so I write, whatever pops into my mind. And happily, much of it is fun and joyful, too. I am not all shades of blue, though ultramarine blue indeed is rich, and a favorite watercolor choice.
Mixing those various shades of blue with other brighter or darker colors of the spectrum births wondrous hues. Greens, browns and blacks, purples and mauves, blues mixed with anything adds depth and dimension. Blues are rich, and like the color of my eyes, can rim one’s view as do the celestial skies or the oceans deep and wide. A tendril of that thought leads me to wonder, do green-eyed people resonate somehow with plants and trees and all things green? And brown-eyed ones with the earth, the mountains, the desert sands? Not necessarily! Just a-muse-ment. For my blue-eyed self, I have often dreamt of running, jumping and flying my body up into that beautiful blue sky, daytime or night. Those of us gifted with physical vision see out of a black pupil, black the result of all colors mixed together. So no matter the rim of our view, most of us have been given the capacity to see our world through the full color spectrum.
When “a pocket full of woe” popped into my mind, spinning thoughts that begged to be expressed, I wondered where such pondering would lead. To play on words again, pockets are generally dark, perhaps even dismal. Some might hold treasures of used tissue, a rock or seashell with accompanying sand, a beloved child’s truck, a well read note, candy or gum wrappers, or other assorted items. So why “woe” when so many other choices could be made? Is it because we tend to stuff woeful things down deep inside some dark place, buried, hidden away? To be taken out, examined again when it feels safe? To be reviewed, contemplated, commiserated, relived once more? It appears from my experience that some pockets are very deep indeed, others much more shallow. Is this why some can seemingly throw off those woeful experiences so easily, letting them slide off their teflonated souls? While others must dig out the very last shreds that cling like entwined fibers of lint built up in pocket corners? It does make me appreciate those other shallow pockets more easily exhumed of hidden hurting things.
The choosing of what goes in my pockets is part of the equation, too. How glorious to think of the many choices one has, including the choice to carry or not, and for how long. For those items that are wedged deep, or that I insist need be packed around, I also must choose to do the work of digging them out. Some, my treasures, are delightful. Others that weigh me down might finally be discarded. But only after they are brought to light again.
It is interesting that darkness has such an antipathy to light. It likes to hide, keep hidden, stay covered, confine. Degradation, disease, decay, rot and ruin flourish in the dark; whereas light brings the forces of healing, renewal and freedom. Even in painting, the absence of darkness and color brings whiteness and light. The less burden, the less impurities, the less hidden, uncovers and lets light shine.
In examining my pockets over the years I have found the steady light of God who created light to be the healing force of my life. My pockets turned inside out, sometimes one at a time, I have felt like those muddied kid’s jeans thrown in the wash, tumbled and thrown about as the contents of my pockets have been shaken out to make me clean again. It has only been when I have gazed at those hidden pocket things, realized fully what they were, and given them up if hurtful, forgiven the ones who placed injury in my pocket, and kept the de-light-ful ones as real treasure have I become free from the burden of overstuffed pockets full of woe . . . lightened and repaired when the light shines into my dark places.
I also have the choice to let the light shine into my pocket. It is a fearful experience at times, painful and even shameful when I have to admit what I have in there. Struggling with feelings of being accepted, being good enough throughout my life, I have found solace and great relief in coming to know the love, forgiveness, and transforming power of a Savior God who died for me so I could have new life. One whose Light has pierced and overcome the darkness, not only of my life, but for the lives of all through eternity. Jesus Christ is my Confidant, my Champion, my Savior Who knows all my darkest shameful secrets and hidden pocket things. Brought into His light, and being forgiven of them, I am renewed, changed, made clean again. He has separated my sins from me as far as the east is from the west. Man’s judgement (including my own!) has hurt me far too long. Christ’s acceptance of me is my salvation! He is the light in my pocket, who turns my woes into joy-filled new songs.