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  • Jane Wheeler

A Hiccup in History

I am so mad I want to explode into a volcanic eruption, scream, yell, hit something – anything, at the attitude and words that came towards me.

I had been talking with someone about a period in my life that was probably one of the hardest I have had to endure and trust me when I tell you, I have had many. It was not an “event” but rather a series of events that happened over a number of years. These events threatened to break me, crush me, they turned my world upside down and they threatened to extinguish my very existence. These events were not caused by me, they were done to me, unbeknown to me – until I found out. It was then when my cataclysmic events threatened to take me under.

Believe me when I tell you that I have forgiven, gotten counselling, attended groups, done all my self work over these issues. I believed I was actually free from any reactions to them until now.

These events in my life had just been referred to as a “hiccup” in my world.

I was seething.

A hiccup – my mind tried to find another synonym, perhaps a small speed bump, maybe even a little blip on a screen, in the whole scheme of my life.

No, I will not sit passively by and let someone else tell me that my hurt, harm, abuse and meaning was reduced to something like a “hiccup!”

Trauma – the definition is so mundane, so calm, hardly the definition of the events that I am thinking of.

The definition of “Trauma”: a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. That does not even cut it!

Yet we treat all kinds of people for PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – is this for deeply distressing or disturbing events? I can get those watching a bad tv show or a horrible movie!

In my mind, the events and the attitude hurled towards me are more suited to the word, “Catastrophe”: an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.

Or perhaps more like, “Cataclysmic”: a large-scale and violent event in the natural world.

When events rip us apart, shake up our natural world, disrupt the natural order in our life – those, those particular events are bigger than “trauma” they really are cataclysmic.

You cannot prepare for catastrophe – it just happens. How can you prepare for events that you do not even know are about to happen?

In the Bible we have Job – he could not prepare to lose his children, his servants, his crops, his health. Job suffered cataclysmic events. His life would never be the same.

My life would never be the same.

I sat there “processing” over the word “hiccup” and the more I “processed” the angrier I got.

How dare anyone call the upside down turning over and ram sacking of my life – a Hiccup!

In my “processing” I was careful not to say anything, not to react, but to sit, albeit, quietly on the outside with mind racing on the inside, and think, ponder and assess. I had retreated into the silent world of self preservation.

Eventually, I gave up my trying to figure it out myself and I went to God with my “processing” and asked Him what was I to do with this word – hiccup and this attitude that was thrown at me.

I was not prepared for His answer.

Jesus was my responder. He said, that I treat His death as a hiccup.

I take it for granted, and now, 40 years later in my walk with Him, I do not give it the gravity it deserves.

After all, Jesus sacrificial death on a cross, to take my place, to pardon my sins and give me access to the Father – an all consuming event that changed the course of Jesus’ life, and the life of all the people on the earth, should not be taken lightly or even thoughtlessly, perhaps like a “hiccup” or a small blip on the screen of humanity.

I sat there stunned. I could not argue. I knew it was true.

I know that I am a sinner saved solely by the blood that was shed for me on a cross by the torn and battered body of Jesus. I know this. But as I go about my day, working, being a wife, mother, friend, what relevance do I give this event in my everyday world?

What cross do I, myself, pick up daily to be able to follow Jesus?

Do I simply gloss over the ugly part and get on with my day, confident that I am saved, Hallelujah and ignore my responsibility to share this with others?

Speechless and deeply grieved over this revelation of my own heartless attitude and reaction to Jesus, my own suffering paled in comparison.

Perhaps, I thought, my hurts, wounds and suffering were a catalyst to push me closer to the heart of Jesus, part of my cross that I bear in my body, as wounds and scars that each time I see them, I remember that other broken body. The body of Jesus, whipped, torn, bleeding, nailed and hung on a cross with His arms wide open beckoning me and everyone to come and receive grace, mercy and healing because of His death.

This event over 2,000 years ago changed the entire world for the better, would I let my wounds, my scars, my events change me for the better or for the worse? Will I sit there seething, waiting for “fair” to come into play or will I extend the love of Jesus, the love He extended to me, to wash through me and over to my offender to make something beautiful from something so ugly?

It is my choice and only my choice, I can decide I will or I won’t, but ultimately the choice is left to me.

I, for one, am so thankful that Jesus decided I was worth extending love to. He chose “I Will”.

How about you? Can you honestly say, that you daily treat Jesus' death on your behalf as a life changing event or have you, like me, begun to take it for granted and perhaps it has been reduced to a hiccup in history.

May it never be!

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