A moment, please

6 12 2010

A student wrote me an email the other day asking if I was alright. I wrote back, saying that I was fine, but I was a bit down because of the generally lousy day I was having, a day on which one bad thing seemed to happen after another, with scant regard for the havoc being wreaked by each. The truth of the matter is, since that email, I’ve been reading through some of what I’ve written in the past, and I’ve been understanding afresh, as though by some sort of divine revelation, that our voices are unique, and God-given.

This may seem so commonplace as to be redundant, but it’s as though I’m looking at the whole issue with new eyes.

It’s true that some days are better than others, and it’s not always the case that I can say life has been better since I became a Christian and started teaching at a Christian school (although there was an intermission of around 6 years between the two events). Some days are better than others, but in the moment, whatever the moment may be, I have joy – in the students, in the content we’re going through, or in some aspect of conversation that is engaged in, or even overheard… it’s how we understand that there is purpose to all this. The unmanageable mess that the tangle of Everything may be could be the thing that helps us to comprehend that in spite of the grades we strive for, the friends we have, the recognition we gain, or the things we like, we are not, and cannot, be perfect.

I think anyone who says their life has miraculously become “perfect” after coming to a salvation decision for themselves is either lying, or deluded.

Life doesn’t happen that way, no matter how much we pretty-pretty-please-please-let-it-all-be-perfect want it to be. I’ve been finding encouragement in Hebrews 10:14, and the different tenses: we have been made perfect, but we’re still being made holy.

Life is tough-as-nails, and we get all kinds of junk thrown at us on a daily, hourly, constantly, basis. Anne Lamott writes, which I have quoted in my Facebook profile because I found it so relatable, and so profound, that

Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.

This is something to cling to, when all hope seems lost, and questions remain unanswered.

No matter how hard things seem to be, there is hope. There is hope in the tears, in the furrowed brows, in the hands clasped tight in prayer, and the urgent whispers of the soul. At the times when all seems lost, may we understand always, and above all things, that we have hope, and that, at the end of the time we have been allotted, all things will be made a l r i g h t.

 





That choking feeling

2 12 2010

Just got floored with some crappy news, and I feel like I’m to blame. It’s not a feeling that I am entirely at fault, just that I could have kept my mouth shut and then everything would be fine.

But it won’t be, because it’s actually not acceptable to keep my mouth shut when it comes to an issue like the one that had come up.

And now the familiar old lump in my throat is back, and it tastes like bitter guilt.

The only consolation there is is that “always You remain with me” as the song by Christian City Youth on iTunes is saying right now.