A band called Nickelback wrote a song called “Photograph” a few years back that talks about, essentially, letting go of the past.  For some of us, this is an easy task because our pasts are things we’d prefer to forget anyway.  Although I suspect often we are not really forgetting but simply stuffing those memories somewhere into our subconscious where they only affect us when we experience similar circumstances in the present.

Others of us cannot let go of our past – whether it be past relationships or past experiences – no matter how hard we try.  Even the good memories seem to be so painful to let go of.  We are so frightened that things can never be that good again.

Either way, often the sentimental idea of “leaving the past in the past” is appealing and yet nearly impossible to do.  Particularly when a certain scent or scene or ballad meets our senses and brings us back, in a second.

I was reading a scripture verse the other day on a little daily scripture calendar a good friend of mine gave me years ago.  It read:

To loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, 
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke . . . 
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear.”

It occurred to me that often we are actually chained to our pasts.  Whether an injustice has been done to us or others have responded unjustly to something bad happening to us, that injustice ties us to the past.  We spend years, and even lifetimes seeking vindication.  Searching for someone to make it right; for someone to validate our pain and tell us what happened to us was utterly wrong.

I wonder if that quest for justice ties us to our pasts, just like the Hebrews were many centuries ago when Isaiah prophesied their freedom.

I believe we are in a season and are being presented with an opportunity NOW to be freed from our pasts.  To be set free from the chains of injustice that have bound us to them.  If we are willing.  Often we choose for the chains to remain; we are so determined to await our vindication.  But it never works that way.  Ever.  Refusal to let go of the past does not bring about healing.  It only holds us captive.

Your healing comes.  It is on the horizon my friend.

Every memory of looking out the back door
I have the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye


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