I recently discovered a new poetry form that I’d never heard of before. It is called “erasure poetry.” The way the form works is that you take some text (including all the punctuation) and you copy it verbatim. Then as you read through it you begin to erase words, sentences, or entire paragraphs. You then combine the leftover words together to form a poem. This poem should complement and give new meaning to the original text.
I can remember many a time in my past that I’d wished that I could erase moments of my life. Those times when I’d said things I later wanted desperately to take back. Or the times when I’d behaved stupidly making a fool out of myself or someone else. There were also those times when I wished I could erase the pain caused by someone I loved. I’m sure as you read this, you too can come up with plenty of times you wish could be erased. I don’t think there are many human beings out there who haven’t had a moment of that kind of wishful thinking.
When God began to heal me from my past, I thought that was how the healing was going to work. I would simply take different times in my past before Him and He would erase them away. I soon realized that God doesn’t heal that way. Because erasing the memory of something doesn’t bring true healing.
The more God healed me the more I discovered that true healing is even better than erasing the memory. When God heals us He doesn’t take away the memory. He takes away the hurt, bitterness, pain, etc associated with the memory so that it can no longer have power in our lives. When those memories no longer have power in how we respond or react to them…healing has taken place.
This kind of healing becomes very apparent in how we react to others who have not received healing, yet. Often times they will still say the same things to us, still act the same ways, and still push the same emotional buttons. They haven’t changed. What has changed is how we react to their behavior. When they say things – we don’t get defensive like we use to. When they act poorly towards us – we know where to draw a healthy boundary so that we aren’t hurt by their actions. When the same old emotional buttons are pushed we no longer give a knee jerk emotional response. We are able to respond in a way that doesn’t lead to an emotional battle.
When we are healed our memories are not erased. It is the negative behavior or response that is erased. Like the erasure poem what is leftover (after healing) gives new meaning to the original text of our lives. God takes our entire past, heals us, and then creates a new poem (life) from that past.
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you
is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished!