Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big Fat Pink Eraser

Sometimes I wish I could get a big fat pink eraser and rub out certain things in my life.

Painful events…bad memories…

Mistakes and missteps I’ve made…

Thoughtless words I’ve said that hurt others…

Relationships that have been more harm than good…

Erase them and blow away the gritty residue.

Wipe them off my slate.

Scour them out of my toilet bowl.

Pretty up my life-line. White-out the smudges.

Delete whole chapters.

Make it all pink and green and pretty and happy.

I was a neurotic first-born child.  When I was in elementary school, I’d be mortified to get a “B” on my report card.  It would be in either Citizenship (“talks too much with other students”) or Math (brain doesn’t operate that way.) I would be humiliated by my “failure.” So I would get an eraser and try to smudge that big bright “B” right out.  At least fade it enough so I could make it look like an “A.”  Failing at that, I’d apply a little spit to the tip of my finger and rub it like Lady MacBeth washing her hands.

Told you I was a neurotic child.

But guess what…

Not only would I rub out the offending mark, I would rub a hole right through the paper.

That was even less pretty.

I’m not exactly sure what triggered these thoughts. I guess it’s the number of painful things I’ve experienced...or my children have experienced...in recent years. Sometimes I wish I could make them all go away like a bad dream. Erase them from my life. Or at least from my consciousness. Pretend this or that hadn’t happened to me; undo this or that I’ve done. Press rewind and edit out that hurtful remark coming from my mouth… that stumble…that fall. Trash the painful episodes; rewrite the script.

But, remembering my old report cards, I realize that can’t be done without leaving a hole.

And (please forgive me here) we can’t be whole with holes.

We cannot eradicate certain fibers of our story’s parchment without negating the very fiber of our existence. Our fiber. All of the marks and splotches and spilled ink have made us who we are…are helping us to become who we need to be.

Like they always say about the Weaver…the dark threads are necessary for the fabric to have depth and richness and lustre.

So it is with the story of our lives, written in indelible ink.


...more sister stories next time...


  1. Have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Great movie. The premise is that a company has perfected a procedure by which you can completely erase a painful memory. The most common application is eradicating a bad relationship. But the characters return to the same people and make the same mistakes after they've been granted oblivion.

  2. I am also a neurotic first-born child who talked too much in class or did not do as well in math. I also tried to rub out the less than A grades as well. :)

  3. Brennan Manning said, "To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God's grace means."

    There is a song I want to share with you. The name of the song is Unredeemed. I believe it will bless you. "May be unfulfilled, may be unrestored, but when anything that's shattered is laid before the Lord, it will not be unredeemed." Even my sin. Even the things I did that hurt
    my children. Even the things they did that hurt me. Even. . . everything.

  4. Kindred spirits...

    one and all.

    Love it!

    p.s. Yes, Laurel...I own the DVD!! (Also interesting from a neuroscience standpoint!)

  5. Thanks for sharing, Kim!
    Sooo true...
    I really like your analogies.


  6. Kim, Nice post. I would like to link to it from mine. Our life's story is written without an eraser. It is tougher when your children are involved. Jon



Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

It helps to know we're not alone.