“Give up any hope of changing the past.” I’ve heard that phrase in a variety of forms over the years. It makes sense and it is true. Kind of.
The canvas of Douglas’ past is painted with wide scenes of mania and small clouds of depression. Mental illness has disordered his thinking, his behavior, his memories. Its brush has made strong strokes of vivid, chaotic colors smeared across the canvas. Within the frame, his past appears tossed and jumbled like a Picasso imitation. More disturbing and distorted than a Dali knockoff.
And there is no hope of changing that picture, that palette, that past. Unless …
God steps in and puts a veil over the painting, so that when we look at it we see it through the fabric of His goodness and mercy. Through this banner of love we see the past differently. We discover that in every minute in each year God was watching over Douglas. There was not even one manic moment when God’s love was not busy at work weaving a veil of generous kindness to cover the sickness, the sadness, the shame.
The past will not change. But the picture of it does, as we look through the cloth of His goodness and mercy following Douglas ALL the days of his life.