Everything burned down. It happened so quickly. I just barely escaped with my life.
That’s how it feels. After nearly a month away, I’ve returned with a brave face and a broken heart to the place where my world fell apart. After few frantic days of sorting, repacking, moving and unpacking my significantly pared down possessions, I collapse with exhaustion on my bed in my temporary new home, gaze at the fire escape outside my window, and marvel at what I have just survived.
I am still in shock. I am emotionally traumatized. I am grieving a terrible loss. But I am somehow still alive.
In this moment of all moments the strangest story comes to mind: the Bible story of Lot’s wife. Lot and his family are narrowly escaping from a city that is burning to the ground. Angels instruct them that they must run and not look back under any circumstances. Lot’s wife cannot help but look back… and she turns into a pillar of salt.
Why this story? Why now? Possibly because I am tempted in every moment to look back. Last night in my yoga class it seemed as though the instructor was reprimanding me personally every time my mind wandered… which was often. How did she know every time? I suppose I’m not the only wanderer. Who knows what things the minds on either side of me were wandering to. I know that my mind, consistently and unrelentingly, was wandering to the fire.
But I must not look back as Lot’s wife did. There will come a time when it may be helpful – perhaps even healthy – to look back on the times before everything was razed to the ground. But the destruction is still too close behind me to look back now. I must look always forward. Escape. Survive. Give thanks that I am still alive.
When all around has fallen, your castle has been burned.
You’ve been crushed to pieces, and no one knows your pain.
Come, come, lay your weary head, be still my friend.
Come, rise with me.
When tomorrow has been stolen and you can’t lift your head.
…all your hopes have fallen, your skin is now your only armour.
Come, come, lay your faithful head, be still my friend.
Come, rise with me.
–Song by Delirious (lyrics condensed)
18 thoughts on “When All Around Has Fallen”
Time is the greatest healer. Just hang in there.
A deeply distressing experience. Thank God, you made it, you escaped with the most precious thing with you- LIFE. Life in more important than anything you can think of.Everything can be restored but not LIFE.Once again, thank God you are alive today.
nice piece…words well chosen. with time your pains will be healed
Such a heartbreaking story but written with crushing compassion. The chosen analogy is remarkably good.
Remember that fire can always be tamed. There’s always a way to fight fire with fire, so don’t lose that other fire inside you that’s kept you going!
Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
Wow great thing 2 come
Don’t know what to say except that I admire your strength and courage! And I pray that you receive more strength from your family and friends.
I don’t know you, but I believe in you. I’m on your side of the park, rooting for you.
get up n make big fireproof castle so that they cant burn it again.
It’s so sad but escaping so. Etching like that it means a lot but there are many people out there who doesn’t see this or realise that they have escaped from tramourtic events. As time goes on you will get over it
Indeed, hindsight is 20/20, right? Each day gives me better perspective, but when I was in it I really couldn’t see very well. Thanks for your comment!
Its so sad but well written and thought through . I am very sorry and i hop will have all the strength to move forward
I believe you will and soon, if your were strong enough to escape that what can stop you from being courageous to move on. A lot panic but believe yourself you can make it
Thank you! Every comment that wishes me strength gives me a little extra. Much appreciated!!! 🙂
Good analogy. The story of lots wife is powerful.
Wow, I am so sorry. What a loss. Reliving traumatic events is not an easy thing to stop doing. Praying that the same God who helped Lot start over will also help you.
Yes… thank you… it is more difficult some days than others. Thank you for the prayer, amen to that. ❤