Key Word:- FORGIVE
Title:- The Burying of Our Pale Poppet Corpses
Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.
If you do just about any reading of Christian writers from previous centuries, they all seem to make mention of a place of restitution, a place of disentanglement, of deliverance,of righting, and of justice which they call the “Great Assizes.”
Formerly in 'Ye Olde England,' these Great Assizes, were periodical sessions of the superior courts held in English counties (States) for the trial of civil and criminal cases. These were enormous events and to those not involved, they were almost festive like occasions. In Lancashire for example, the judges would be met at the County border and escorted into town with a great fanfare of trumpets and following lawyers all dressed in their wigs, and whilst their gowns were billowing in the breeze, people in frenzied excitement would run about like headless chickens (eat your heart out Judge Judy!).
In essence these Assizes were places and times that justice was done and was also, SEEN to be done. The writers of old therefore often referred to 'THE GREAT ASSIZES' as when God would at last show everything for what it is and justify, reward, or embarrass that which shall indeed, be brought for an examination at such a great throne of justice. There are many things that will have to wait until the Great Assizes. Indeed, all things will.
There is however friends a big problem here, when people, rather than dealing with issues, decide to wait for the Great Assizes. Pastorally I see this problem pictured chiefly, in the continual embracing of death by the hurt, wronged and bitter members of the church.
Let me explain. I have seen people dress their stillborn child and take their little corpse finger prints and footprints, then coddle, caress hold and photograph the pale poppet of a corpse, before laying them in the grave. Years after though, the pictures of the dead child's corpse can still be found on the mantelpiece and nestled on the sideboard amongst photographs of the living. Others may forget, but these so very hurt and dispossessed of parents, will never forget, yes, they will never forget their so great a loss. Do you see what I mean?
Let me ask you today then, what have you lost, or had taken from you that you seek justice for? What has been done to you, said about you, that you believe is wrong? What dead child, what pale poppet of a corpse do you hold to your bosom until the Great Assizes? Is it stinking yet? Look at your sideboard, do you see it there today, that little coffin on the counter top?
It has been my observation that people hold on to hurts, both great and small, when justice does not seem to have been done. People cosset these weeping sores and hold those dead children to themselves, because they feel that if they are healed, if that pail poppet of a corpse is finally laid to rest, that they and their unjust hurt, they and their imputed pain will be forgotten and never truly dealt with, never justly dealt with. This kind of fear is not a bad thing, for you see, the true honouring of self, does require the application of justice and we know that such justice may only come at the Great Assizes and lest the Great Judge forget, and frankly we think He just might, then we hold on to our death, we continue to parade its macabre memory in our living areas, so that when we appear before him, He will smell it! He will see it and remember it! You see the cadaverous problem here don’t you my dear friends?
There is something deadly debilitating and incessantly insane about such much-loved hurt, such much-loved pain. It really needs to be healed and in the healing it must be buried, and therefore in the beginning and in the end, it must be let go of. Let it be so, for the Righteous Judge will not forget. His throne is one of justice. So, today, O crippled and smelly friend, you must put away the pictures and all the remembrances of seeming injustice and debilitating, unanswered pain. You must begin to live again. Methinks then, that the best of cures for these terrible maladies is that we begin to seek more of mercy than of justice for ourselves and that we also do the same for those others, even for those perpetrators of our hurts.
Let us then dear friends, show mercy today towards ourselves, towards our families, towards those who have hurt us and especially towards those who seek forgiveness from us. If we are big enough, as we get healed enough, then maybe let us go and seek mercy, even towards those hard or ignorant, unrepentant perpetrators of our hurt.
Forgiveness is good ground in which to bury our dead and mercy is a great balm to pour into our still smelly, sore and open wounds.
Once there was a broken heart
Way too human from the start
And all the years left it torn apart
Hopeless and afraid
Walls I never meant to build
Left this prisoner unfulfilled
Freedom called but even still
It seemed so far away
I was bound by the chains
From the wages of my sin
Just when I felt like giving in
Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures to the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running
(Mercy Came Running - Phillips, Craig & Dean (Trust)
Pray:- Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by. Psalm 57:1