Washing Away

I was beating myself up again, earlier today.

Can’t you just get over it?! Big baby!

It’s been nearly three months since the scary tornado outbreak that ripped through my community. That day, I cowered with my dog and my cell phone in the inky black of my closet and listened helplessly as hail pounded my roof and sirens screamed around me. Seeds of fear were planted that day and now, with every rumble of thunder, it seems those seeds get watered again.

Today, I found myself sitting, worrying about hurricane season. I was trying to pray away storms that haven’t even formed yet. I forced myself up, shook off the fears and spent most of the day working around my house. Good therapy, maybe? At least a distraction. I washed, dried, folded, put away…

Laundry wasn’t enough for me. I went out into the yard and spent a grueling half-hour in ninety-five degree heat, digging weeds out of the garden. Sweat ran down my face and dripped off my eyelashes, smearing my glasses, and making it almost impossible to see. Perhaps because I needed the physical release that comes with hard work, I kept digging anyway.

A little later, I stood in the shower with the water as cold as I could stand it and my eyes closed beneath the stream. And suddenly, I wasn’t a taxed-out, weary, thirty-something homeowner, struggling to make it through another day. I wasn’t a frightened, helpless woman, hiding from a ruthless storm. I wasn’t a recovering victim, trying each and every day to push the sordid past a little further away from me. Instead, I was a seven-year-old again. I was spending a hot, summer afternoon under the waters of Lake Waccamaw, watching minnows nibble and kiss my toes against the white sand. I was so relieved and comforted by the memory that I sat down in the shower and let the water and the memory roll over me and saturate me completely.

When I opened my eyes and stood, I half-prayed:

I wish I were seven again… Before I had any of this to deal with. And now, I wish the water could just wash it all away.

Before the words had even passed my heart, I felt the answer wash over me, too:

It IS washed away.

And it is. All I have to do is let it keep washing away, every day. Just let go a little, every day. With my still-rosy, warm face under the cold stream, I heard one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs run through my mind:

It’s so hot inside my soul, I swear there must be blisters on my heart.

There are so many days, like today, that I feel like that. It’s not one, big, ugly situation that I’m dealing with, but rather, the big, heavy burden of a lot of little ones that create kindling for one, huge fire in my soul. But as my face slowly, gently cooled, I heard another song in my heart:

I’m coming to take you away
To the place where the pain won’t find you
I’m coming to take you away
So leave the weight of the world behind you

Oh, and you know nothing’s too far
Nothing’s too hard, I’ll always be there
I’m coming to take you away

And He did. And He still does. I’m clean. And with every memory, He sends a stream, a shower, a hug, an encouragement, a song, and washes me clean again.

(The first song is Rich Mullins’ “Hold Me Jesus.” The second song is Kerrie Roberts’ “Take You Away.” I’ve provided links to both songs above. Both of them are totally worth a listen.)

About Sarah Salter


  1. I love your blog posts!

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Thank you, Nancy! 🙂

  3. Barbara says:

    Good reading Sista Sarah… I find myself telling me what you say.. sort of paraphrased. “God knew about these things before they happen and He wasn’t surprised”.. Yeh going back and doing it over again might be good, who know.. Anyway… Thanks for the Blog Sista..

    Love ya!

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Barbara! I tell myself that one a lot, too. Funny enough, that quote you just quoted, my Realtor told me. I say it to myself all the time, too. 🙂

  5. Great story and I love Rich Mullins and that particular song, recognized it immediately. 🙂 Thanks Sarah.

Speak Your Mind