On my walk to work, I follow the same pattern. I always cross at the same intersection. I always walk closest to the buildings rather than the edge of the footpath near the road. When I’m walking down Adelaide Terrace, I always stop to admire the 2 massive trees on the sidewalk. They’re huge. Sometimes I gently place my palm on the trunk of the first massive tree. I guess it’s my way of saying “hello” to it. I always enter my work building (it’s massive) along the left side of the stairs. I take little footsteps. I always greet the Security Guard on the front desk: “Morning, Diviesh”
He’ll answer with one or two “Morning” (s). When he answers with two: “Morning, Morning!” I know he’s in a good mood. One “Morning” means he’s busy so I don’t stop to chat then, I just continue on to the lifts and up to Reception on the 6th floor.
I guess I’m more a creature of habit than I once thought, eh?
Anyway, about a week ago, I noticed an entire building had disappeared on my familiar street where I work.
Instead of a building, there were piles and piles…of wreckage.
When I first saw it, I felt a great sadness. A sense of loss. As if an old acquaintance had died unexpectedly. It was so weird.
I looked at the piles of wreckage, and I identified with it.
Lord, this is how I feel on the inside sometimes.
Broken. In pieces. In a mess. Destroyed. Annihilated. Wrecked.
It’s how A LOT of people feel, I guess.
Every day since, I pause at the temporary fencing and look in at the building site…feeling my heart break as I do. Feeling as if this wreckage is a perfect picture of broken hearts and feeling broken on the inside. It hurt to look at it, but I loved it all the same. Isn’t that strange?
(^^ this isn’t the building I meant, but it’s a fairly similar picture of what I saw every day)
I’d see the crumbles and brokenness of the building and pray daily for those who were feeling the same on the inside. I prayed God’s peace and comfort over their hearts.
I’ll take a picture today (I should have taken them sooner. Sorry) of what the site looks like now – it’s so different. The land has been cleared (most of the wreckage taken away) and there are giant boulders (God knows what they’re for?) and new sand…and a sort of hopefulness and expectation on the site…like anything at all could happen.
What I wanted to write about especially – is that this building site…reminds me of sadness and great depression.
Firstly, because it was unexpected. Depression is something you can’t prepare for. Just like the surprise of this wrecked building, I guess. One day, there was a tall building there – strong and beautiful. (to be honest, I cant remember the building or business that used to be there – just the black gates and fancy silver buttons guests had to press to be let into the private car park) and then the next day – BOOM – it’s demolished. Flattened. Broken and never again to be used. It’s so broken and crushed that it seems final. Sadness and loss is like that. You think you’ll never recover.
Then you adjust and you get used to it. Strangely, you even start to like it. It hurt to look at the wreckage…but it was so beautiful, I actually loved the sight of it.
Then one day – just as suddenly as the wreckage appeared – the land is cleared and it looks tender and new – like a baby. Brand new and full of possibilities. There is hope.
Just like having depression…where it just suddenly lifts a little. You can be devastated…absolutely…and then a weight lifts from your chest and you suddenly find you breathe easier. Just like that. The crushing weight of guilt, defeat and loss seem somehow…less devastating. Just slightly though – it’s not gone…but it’s…more bearable. The burden is carry-able now. It doesn’t cut into your arms and back so much and it’s noticeably lighter.
And as time goes by…depression, sadness, loss and grief are replaced by something better. They don’t go away…they never do. Hurt like that is not easily wiped away…but it fades. It is overshadowed by something grander. You start to forget what hurt you most and details that caused an ache in your soul suddenly are quite fuzzy. You start to ask yourself “what really happened?” because honestly…you can’t remember anymore. Just like I can’t remember what used to be on that building site…I knew there was something…but every day, my memory fades more and more.
One day, on this fresh plot of earth (with the big boulders – why the boulders???)…will house a completely different structure. Something brand new. I’m hoping for a nature-scape or a beautiful cultivated garden. What a change to all the businesses and skyscrapers along this familiar city street. It would be lovely to instead have a park – a garden…with citrus trees, herbs, plants, flowers, shrubs and bushes…fresh grass inviting picnics and photographs…and time together with work colleagues where you can just laugh and enjoy the fresh air.
There is hopefulness and a happiness that seeps into your soul…the way tea seeps into water…gently and slowly changing it in little bursts and ribbons of colour until the whole tea cup is different and none of the original clear water is left.
It is now an entirely different liquid.
And so it is with sadness. You live through it and time heals you. The gaping hole you honestly felt you’d die from…becomes a scar. It doesn’t disappear – it always stays forever…but it is a sign of something broken that healed.
It is a sign of strength and resilience…and new beginnings.
I can’t wait to see what happens with this building site 🙂 remind me and I’ll update you with photos.