I couldn't zoom in close enough with the camera lens to see the base of that protruding rock and I don't know the geological history of the southern coast of Italy to know which came first, the rock or the hills or maybe both were formed at the same time. It doesn't really matter, what struck me the most was how the two topographical sites contrasted.
Looking at this gigantic, surely misplaced evidence of a wounded land (and I'm not a geologist but I'm sure there is a word for this formation and a history behind it) I couldn't stop thinking about how this rock, surely out of place, was an allegory for the wounds of our lives.
When we carry the weights and regrets of our past sins and woundings and find no place to put them and keep taking them from Jesus' hands and back into our hands, the wounds can't heal. The jagged edges that have cut through the flesh of our souls and torn our hearts prevent the new tissues of hope, struggling to generate and form new healthy tissue, as we continue to see our wounds and our sins as the obnoxious and visible remains of our past. Something that is constantly in view, second guessing our forgiveness, wondering if we'll ever be free, doubting God's goodness.
As we continued to slowly sail past the monstrous jagged landscape and the frontal view became a side view and then a distant view and then.....no longer in view the farther away we got from it, the Lord began to speak to my heart about this.
I'm not one to have audible conversations with Him, but my heart and soul "heard" Him tell me this as we sailed on the beautiful waters of Italy's southern shore. He said something like this, and I hope it blesses you in the way it blessed me:
Your sins and your wounds looked like that jagged rock, penetrating and jutting through, protruding and overwhelming the beauty of the landscape surrounding it. But when the view changes and you move past and move on, the jagged roughness begins to lose its rough edges as it begins to blend into the landscape, becoming more beautiful as it melds and gets further from view.
You sins and your past and your wounds look like that rock when you face them, jagged and raw, seemingly so out of place. But as time passes and they meld into the whole of who you are, who I have created you to be, it becomes a part of a beautiful landscape of my love. Yes, the heart hurts when the wound is fresh and raw, when the regrets try to haunt you, but sweet children, see it how I see it. A beautiful part of the landscape of your life. The further you go from the place where it hurt the most, the more you will see it the way I see it. A beautiful part of my beautiful plan for you.