Running Through

“I am haunted by waters” is the final elegiac line in A River Runs Through It (Columbia Pictures, 1992). Directed by Robert Redford, this remarkable, enigmatic film tells the story of two brothers, sons of a Presbyterian minister, who grow up in rural Montana in the early 20th century. Mark Isham’s hauntingly beautiful score echoes the rippling undercurrents and eddying emotion swirling throughout this story of bittersweet reminiscence. It is a masterpiece of thoughtful, poignant story-telling, ending with “I am haunted by waters.”

“To haunt” is a verb.  Its secondary meaning is:  “To visit often, to frequent.” Or, “to recur continually. To linger or remain in profusion; pervade.”

What are you “haunted” by?

What person, conversation, event, situation, relationship visits you often – recurs or lingers frequently? Maybe it’s that annoying neighbor with the blaring music or the snarling dog.  The colleague who keeps cheating you and getting away with it. The insufferable in-laws. The teen who Knows Everything – especially how much smarter (s)he is than you. Or maybe it’s that person you see in church every Sunday while feigning blindness. You may be haunted by financial stress, a shameful past, or a ruptured relationship that no amount of caring or coaxing can mend.

What are you haunted by? And the bigger question, the real question is, Why?

It could be that the enemy is trying to stir the embers of accusation and stoke up its twin sister, despair. Or maybe God is trying to get your attention, teach you something you need to know. Grow you up.

Maybe something else is going on? Could this kind of “haunting” be God bringing something to the surface, a wound, a relationship, or an unresolved issue bubbling up like a spring so that we’ll invite him in and let him take over to cleanse, make whole, and replace our “haunting” with His healing?

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells…” (Psalm 46:4, NIV)

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