I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside

– “Foreword” to The Shack by William P. Young

Most of the time, life seems to happen as if I’m at the top of a high tree watching people go by below. Except that most of the people I could watch below are actually in their own trees. It’s like we’re a bunch of koalas hanging from our chosen trunks, clinging for life. Maybe we are clinging to our trunks for life.

When we climb down to choose another tree, we run into each other. We feel like we have to fight for what we need. We wound one another with our claws, features that are mostly disguised by our cozy appearance. Mostly, we are silent, although we may seem to make a lot of noise. Like koalas, we can let out an ear-piercing cry when we are in pain, but most of us are unable to hear that noise from one another; it’s as if we’ve lost that part of our hearing range.

We choose – I choose – so often to stand apart. So much of life is too painful for me to want to enter the fray. I’d rather stay up in my tree and be safe. Here, I can get perspective; here, I can observe. Of course, I need some times away, some times to rest on the swaying strength of my chosen tree. But if I only stay up here, will I ever have a chance to heal from what has been done to me or what I have done to those around me?

I think I need to spend more time on the ground. It’s going to hurt, but there is also healing in the hurt.

Koala on the Ground