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Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

When Refuse Becomes Renewal

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By Carol Minchew | Pinnacle Spiritual Arts Committee

The following is written by Pinnacle member, Carol Minchew, and shared with her permission from dvhealing.com. Carol Minchew has been a leading light behind our spiritual arts program. She has also been involved for many years in support of persons who have experienced domestic violence. She recently wrote a blog post for victims of domestic abuse that brings together her passions in response to our most recent arts display, “Caring for Creation.”

“Sometimes, one must dig deep into the rubble of what was in order to build a strong and beautiful foundation for what will be”  ~ Carol Minchew

In a recent ecological liturgical art installation, which I facilitated; beauty was born from discarded water bottles pulled from trash bins. When I contemplate my friend, Lynne’s, beautiful photo of the installation, spring sunlight bounces joyfully off of what once was essentially trash—rubble, refuse has found rejuvenating renewal.  It is spring—the bird sings “Hope!”

What a lovely metaphor for domestic violence healing this becomes. Today, let us explore how someone moving from an abusive situation might move through the beginning stages of healing. This is an extreme simplification of the path that brought me to healing, but it might be a place for you to start your own, very personal journey. Let’s gently walk through it together.

But first, let us visualize the same example of when refuse or trash becomes renewal as it occurs in nature. A flower seed, surrounded by a protective husk or shell, has within itself a perfect blueprint—it is complete with everything it needs to grow into the blooming, flourishing plant it was meant to be. Yet in order that this amazing transition may begin, the seed and its perfect blueprint (DNA) must be enveloped in the earth. The soil that evolved from the refuse of nature is made up of decaying plant life, eroded boulders become sand, insects, and animals return to the earth at the end of their life cycle—and from this natural composted rubble and rock evolves the very nutrients necessary for new life to flourish and grow. The Creator partners with the seed to provide the other elements—sun and rain.

And so it is with each precious human, in order that we might grow and flourish, we must push up through the difficult rubble and refuse of past experience in order that we might find the light and absorb the truth and wisdom that pushing through “the mess of it all” can reveal to us. It is only by allowing our protective hard shell (husk) to break open to experience the “hardships of pushing through” that true life can begin. It is a hard thing this process of examining the harshness of our past but it is by the grace of the Creator who gives us strength and resilience to move upward that we can then grow and flourish.

No one enjoys the the pain of reliving heartache, but, for me, taking a hard look at what had not been working for me in my life, (my strengths, as well as my less desirable traits,) was exactly what was needed to allow the exploratory tendrils of new growth to take root, find light and eventually to flourish. A journal may help you through this process. It was invaluable for me.

I send you love and blessings for new growth.