The gruesome experience “informed” his art.
The break-in and near death experience, “informed” his life’s course.
The death of her mother by suicide “informed” her field of study.
The assault she survived “informed” her very life.
What happens in our lives in-forms us. What we experience forms us, on the inside.
We say we live in an information age. But… TMI. Overwhelmed. Can’t take it all in. Are we convinced that the more we know, the better off we are? How much do we really know after all we have read? Binge reading that which is designed to catch our eye — the moving target or the sensational headline — is not informing. That’s gorging. Over-consumption. Gluttony.
We can choose to stop and ask:
What has in-formed us? What moment? What word? What person? What experience? These have shaped our perception, our point of view, and our understanding.
What is now in-forming us? What are we allowing in to form our perception, point of view and understanding.
Christine Blasey Ford’s life has been in-formed by her “incident” with Brett Kavanaugh. Not only has she survived it, but she is living out of it. She has addressed the event and its circumstance and called it out. She has let it in-form her, so she can let it inform us. To speak publicly, in such an open forum, about such a traumatic and emotional experience is nothing short of miraculous. Yet, she has denied the experience its opportunity to torment her. Instead, she has turned the tables on it. She is leading our charge.
Forewarned may feel forearmed, and informed may feel like arming, but this is a different battle we’re waging, against an enemy we can’t see who employs weapons we can’t wield. We are being prepared for this battle by One who knows us intimately and is ever-transforming us. One who is constantly shaping, healing, and molding, sculpting, renewing and re-building with gracious, loving hands. With our consent.
Love doesn’t, love never, forces its way in.
Is it possible that all our experiences are redeemable, even when they’re too horrible to imagine or too painful to admit? Give them to me, God says. We can hold them together and make something magnificent. I am love. With me, all things are possible.
What in-forms you?
What is shaping you?
From the inside out?
It’s terrible having sticky fingers.
No, not the kind that pull what doesn’t belong to you
off the department store shelves.
I’m no thief.
I don’t steal stuff.
I feel stuff.
Or it’s smooth and supple,
nothing that can ruffle.
My fingers smile
as they tiptoe across.
with no hindrance,
into the secret garden, greenery
no one has ever bent before.
None have ever traced this path.
No one has made this journey,
of fingertips along the way.
“Here comes Sticky Fingers!”
I know they’re saying,
when they see me coming their way.
A solo treasure that’s all mine.
Not to keep, of course.
That would be stealing.
I’m no thief, you know.
Don’t take what’s not mine.
I leave it for the next sticky fingers.
Who I don’t know.
Sticky fingers don’t leave prints.
They take touch with them,
gently rubbing, tracing, mixing,
to the texture meant
to touch another.
Not so terrible, really.
Complexity is temporary for the truthful.
A web weaved by one who intends to deceive stays intricate, tangled, confounding. It’s meant to lose people along its way. But the person of truth breaks down the steps, untwists the turns, and unfolds the bending to free the one strand used to form it all.
What a delight it was the day I learned the secret to untangling the lumped ball of necklace chains, twisted and looped on each other in a hopeless mess. I set it down on a firm surface and each loop landed next to the other. Teasing it apart with a small sharp point, perhaps a paper clip unbent for my purpose, the complexity pulled away. Each strand became its own again.
Life is complicated, we like to say, but anywhere within it, we can set it down on a firm surface and use our vantage point to glimpse a bit of straight in the mess of tangled. We can loosen loop after loop, lifting and tugging, over and under, gently freeing.
Lord, let the twisting fall away in my small space. Settle it where I may tease it apart to admire its beauty as One fine strand. Hiding its origin and identity was never your idea.