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A Hole in the Yard

Hole in the Yard

The dead of winter isn’t the best time to take pictures of anything–especially one’s backyard. As bad as this picture makes my yard appear, it does help to reveal things that I need to do if I am to make my yard ready for the coming spring.

Last month, the plumber came to repair a broken sewer line located three feet below the surface of the lawn. The job went well enough and when the workers left, they mounded the dirt they had dug back over the hole. The only thing, it didn’t look right. The mound was now about two feet taller than when they started. It reminded us all of a cemetery with the large mounds of dirt piled up over the buried bodies.

We decided to spread the dirt mound a bit more evenly over the backyard until the yard was level. However, after a few hard winter showers, the earth began to compact and settle as you see in the picture. Now we have a rather large yard that is about one foot deep.

Fixing the hole in my yard will be an easy thing. I’ll dump a few bags of dirt over the hole until everything settles as it should. The grass will re-grow over the new dirt and that will be the end of this situation. You can do things like that with a yard. Life, however, is a little more complicated.

I have a few holes in my life that were once exposed to all and are now covered up. There are small caverns inside of us that we ignore until the day it implodes. When life stopped working for me, I came to the end of myself and sought help. At Celebrate Recovery I met with other men and women who struggled mightily with all forms of addictions and afflictions. Like me, many of them appeared to all the world as model parents, citizens, workers, church leaders, and the like. Later, as their addictions grew and possessed them, a point came when they imploded and hit bottom. This is a time when the world comes crashing in. At Celebrate Recover I learned that we may try and hide our problems, but at some point, they grow beyond our ability to conceal them. Soon the whole world can glimpse the scope of our need.

Though it’s been years since my Celebrate Recovery days, I remember many of the wonderful lessons they taught me. Working the twelve steps helped me to address many of the holes I dug. Even though I’ve addressed them as best I can, I don’t know if they will ever be completely healed. In fact, I’m sure they won’t. These include divorce, grief that comes from the death and loss of friends and loved ones, the loss of jobs, old age, and many other things that accumulate in one’s psyche over a lifetime. Unlike the hole in my yard, I’ve discovered that it’s not the best thing to try and smooth these things over and pretend they never happened. These are the well earned and deserved scars of living, loving, and sometimes losing.

Holes can be ugly things, but with time, patience, and the help of a loving God, things can get much better. Here is what I have learned about the holes in my life. Stop digging, learn from my mistakes, forgive myself and others, and move on. After all, there is no future in the past. Oh, there is one more thing. Be vulnerable and share with others–if it appears you can help someone. I believe we redeem the tears of our past as we decide to react with love and compassion to those who suffer now as we once did.