Sometimes life, not the big picture, the whole world kind of life (that’s abstract enough — we can deal with it), but our personal, here-and-now life can become more than we can handle. Or least, more than we want to handle.
An adoptive mother pours herself dry, endlessly loving a child who, because of abuse or neglect before she entered his life, cannot bond, cannot receive or trust. Will her love ever be enough?
A dear one, preparing to fly to her mother’s bedside, receives a call. “Your Mom died this morning.” The words she’d hoped to say swell in her throat. And the ones she’d hoped to hear seep from an old wound. How will it heal, now?
An illness haunts, even as it evades tests and medical probing. In the dark of the night, it looms, large and threatening. What is taking over my body? What am I doing wrong?
Or the pain is diagnosed, the dread “C” word, and all the questions and decisions put life on hold. Will I be able to stand? Will I come out the other side?
Abuse, alcoholism, unplanned pregnancies or unfinished ones, unwanted babies or babies forever grieved, sterility, disability, life threatening illness, life-taking illness, unfaithfulness, hatred, dementia, mental illness or anguish, prejudice, betrayal . . .
The list is too dark to continue.
Whether wishing for escape from this life, or wishing for more days to live, we often follow a script, learned long ago.
Shut down. If I don’t feel so deeply, I won’t hurt so much. Better to live in the gray zones. One foot follows another.
Give in. I’ll do what I’m told. Keep my head down. If I don’t expect anything I won’t be disappointed.
Fight. I flail at the injustice. Rail at the darkness. My fingers may grow raw, but at least I’m not a helpless victim.
Flight. I’ll run to alcohol, drugs, people (sex, or people-pleasing, or codependent relationships, or controlling), work, online or TV (mindless hours, escape, games, vicarious living, porn). Anything but stay in the pain.
Or perhaps I simply won’t look. If I can’t see the enemy, he can’t hurt me, right?
When it all comes tumbling down, and at some point, it will, what do we have then? When our backs are up against the wall, where do we turn?
Over and over, I run to the only one who hasn’t hurt me or failed me or forgotten me. One who calls me, carries me when I need it, heals me and sets my feet on firm ground.
If you have more on your plate than you can handle right now, feel free to contact me below, or use the private contact button, and I will pray for you.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew ll:28-30 The Message