Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Blue Sky Promises

I am so hungry.

Well, there sure is a lot of food on that table. Where do you want to start?

It isn't real.

So, what is the real problem here? You're hungry. What are you hungry for?

That's just it. I don't know. I've wracked my brain trying to figure out what is wrong and . . . it eludes me.

I've had several calls from you. 

Well, at least now I know you got them.

Now, let's not be flip.

I'm just trying to let you know how I feel.

I got that message, too.

There is this huge gaping hole that I can't fill. And it seems to grow larger every day. I think . . . I think that . . .

That?

I think I'm overreacting and no one really cares anyway. It's been a pretty rotten day. I slept badly last night and didn't get enough sleep. I got up and had coffee and I fell asleep reading my Bible. I was so tired. I must have slept badly in the chair. A storm moved in and I woke up feeling as if I'd been hit by a truck. I've not been well since.

...

What? No advice? Nothing?

What do you want me to say?

What do I want you to say? Really? I don't even know what I want. Do you expect me to know what
you want? In fact, I think that's the problem. What exactly do you expect from me? I'm pretty much useless. I can't do anything I wanted to do. I'm so isolated that I could be on an island and no one would even know. I was in the kitchen and Sarah asked me who I was talking to! I don't even know anymore when I talk out loud to myself or am talking in my head. What do I want you to say? Well, anything would be nice. Or maybe it wouldn't. If it isn't nice I don't think I want to know. I've had enough of the other stuff.

You're tired. 

I am more than tired. I'm wasted. Hollow. Vacant. Void. Empty. Deserted. Abandoned.

You're not deserted or abandoned. 

Look around here, please. I want to go home and it doesn't even exist anymore except in my head.

You're homesick?

... I don't know. No. It is deeper than that. I want to go back and do one thing differently so that everything will be different. I want what is lost. I want what can't ever be. I want things the way they were before they went wrong.

I see. That's a terrible place to be. An impossible place.

I want to fix all the broken things. And they're all broken. Everything is broken. Even me. And I don't think, no, I know that none of it can be fixed.

You probably ought to think about a new name for this blog. It isn't what it used to be.

Wow. Well, neither am I.

You can't go back. The road only goes forward. You can choose to sit down and stay here. But ... it is a pretty drab spot. Lots of gloomy clouds, darkness hovering just over that hill, and I can't stay here with you. If you stay, you will be alone. 

I know. There is nothing left back there. I watched it burn.

I promise you, there are green pastures ahead. Cool streams. Blue skies. You'll get thru the dark. 

Don't tell me to be patient, please.

I won't. I heard the joke.











Thursday, April 19, 2018

Who Are You?

I had a thought recently. I can't remember what led to it but I think it was something I read. At any rate, this verse came to mind. 
What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in kings' palaces.  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. Matthew 11:8-9
The verses are a part of a statement issued by Jesus about John the Baptist. The disciples had come with a message from John asking if Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah.  He sent the disciples back to John with a clear answer. He related his miracles, which in essence said, "Yes, that's who I am."

It occurred to me that a lot of people are asking that same question even today. "Who are you?" The question sounds simple but I suspect it is visceral, rather than just curiosity. Perhaps it is incised on our souls and we can't help but ask it?

If you read the whole chapter, you can see that Jesus gives an overview of how the people received John and compared it to his own reception. They saw John's stellar but stringent life and called him a devil. They saw Jesus living life just as those around him, working, spending time with his family, associating with all manner of people and called him a drunkard and a glutton.

I can hear the priest, their voices scathing and looking down their long noses. "Who are you?"  I can hear the cripple, his voice stressed and eyes pleading. "Who are you?"

The frightened, the lonely, the destitute, the wounded, the broken, the dejected, the hopeless, and the lost in the middle of their despair, have screamed the question. "Who are you?"   On my worst days, when the pain is so bad I can't cry, when my body hurts, my heart hurts, and my mind can't hang on to a clear thought I ask the same question. "Who are you?

Yes, even those who have believed all their lives have moments when we ask that question. I'm sorry if it offends anyone, but if you say you never asked, I won't believe you. Everyone has experienced a time when the bottom drops out of their world and they don't know which way is up. It is a cliched experience that we all have at some point. Don't worry if you haven't, you will. And in the middle of that moment, when all seems lost and broken, and confusion is smothering the life out of you, the question will be there. From the deepest, darkest core of your being, something will whisper in desperation, "Who are you?"

At some point, you'll hear it. It may not happen instantly. In fact, it may be hours, days, weeks, or years before you hear it but if you're listening, you'll hear it. It will be like a whisper on a breeze, floating into your mind when you are so overwhelmed with life that you can't help but think it.
"Who are you!"
We're not the first to ask.
"Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? Exodus 15:11
All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? Psalm 35:10 
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Psalm 113:5
You'll find the answer buried in the dark and despair, beneath pain and grief, and the weight of hopelessness. You'll have to rip open the wounds, uncover the fear, and relive the thing that brought you to this place. You'll have to dig to find it. For all precious treasures are buried beneath the weight of the world. Hidden from all but the determined seeker.

Who did you come to see?

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Psalm 48:1
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:3 
Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Jeremiah 32:17

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sorting

Wasn't sure you'd show up.

I always do, eventually. 

Been a strange day for me and I don't really understand it. I'm not sure what I'm feeling or even thinking.

Is there a problem bothering you?

Ha, ha, ha! There's always a problem bothering me.

All right. Let me have it.

That's funny. You know, I'd never have guessed you had such a great sense of humor.

Why not?

Oh, I don't know. Might have been the flood or turning people into salt shakers. Kind of lost me on the humor there.

Actually, it was a block of salt and ... well, only one person. She was warned, too.

Oh, yeah. Have to admit the bears eating the kids was kind of funny.

Riiiigghhtt. But you're serious about a problem, right?

Oh, I think it is just the same old thing. Some of it is really stupid stuff. I don't actually want to put on the blog.

Well, I'm surprised at some of the stuff you already put on here.

Uh... is that a joke?

No. 

Oh. OK. I'm just confused on some things and I don't actually know how to clear it up. And yes, I've already been reading the Bible. A lot, actually. It hasn't helped.

Hmmm.

Sister Fletcher, you remember her, she once told me not to try and figure out things but just keep reading and eventually, it would come to me when I needed it.

I suspect she was right. You've had that experience before.

Yeah, but seems like I've become more confused rather than less.

Or maybe you're just impatient. 

{sigh}

Sorry. 

It doesn't matter. I don't even know why I'm writing this. It isn't helping at all. Some of what I intended to address I can't remember now. Waited too long. Probably won't publish this tonight.

Sleep on it. 

**********

I did. Sometimes even sleep won't fix things. I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and things haven't really changed much. I still don't know what is going on but I've simply put it down and left it there. Whatever is bugging me will work itself out.

That or I'll go nuts.

Sometimes you just have to leave the problem to fend for itself. You can't really run away from your problems but you can deliver them to God and let him deal with them.

Yeah, easier said than done. You're talking to the perfectionist fanatic who can't let go of anything. I've got to fix it. I've got to manage it. I've got to take care of... Yeah, that's me. And it leads to the conversations you see above. I'm trying to put things down more. It isn't easy and it is so easy to slip back and pick it up again.

I had a conversation last night. I won't recount it all here but I remember saying that I'm at the end of my rope. There is enough on my plate to feed a small third world country. Probably two of them. What do I have to worry about? I've got food to eat, a warm, dry place to sleep, amenities to make my life so much easier than that third world country. My problems probably wouldn't seem very serious to someone over there. They probably aren't really important to you, either.

I remember a preacher named R. W. Schambach that always said, "You don't have any trouble. All you need is faith in God." I used to listen to him on the radio way back. I discovered his broadcast at a time in my life that I needed spiritual nurturing. I always wanted to think that way but it is pretty hard in the middle of trouble. If I think real hard, I know that I don't have any trouble. I have thorns in the flesh that irritate me but I think I did learn that if I can just let it alone it will heal itself.

Not every problem will fix itself, though. Your problems are probably really bad. I don't have a clue what you're dealing with at all. The children are a problem, the husband's a problem, the neighbors are a problem, your sister-in-law is a problem. Even your sister's husband's uncle's daughter is a problem.

Yeah, I've had those, too. The kids, husband, neighbors, family members have all been a chore to deal with at one time or another. In my family, crazy relatives are our only source of entertainment. And grief. I found if I just let it alone, most of the time, God will handle it.

I wonder sometimes what people are thinking when they do certain things. I wonder sometimes what I was thinking. Most of the crazy things I've done I've kept to myself but I have this overwhelming sense of guilt that constantly eats at me so I don't forget. I don't have any idea how many times I've told God how embarrassed I am about some things only he knows about. But there it is.

There are things I'm trying to stop doing. No, I'm not drinking or smoking or partying. I'm pretty boring. There are just some things that I want to eliminate in my thinking. See, I know how to live for God but there's a lot more to it than what you do. There are all these things in my head that I have to deal with and a there's a lot I'd like to clear out. I've reached a point where I've decided to stop asking for some things and stop entertaining certain things in my thoughts. Truthfully, they aren't things a single person would think anything about. They're just things I think.

I have no point to this post but maybe someone will get something out of it. It is mostly trying to sort it all out. I don't think I have yet. Maybe I won't ever.