weight, passion, celebration

A reflection on my life; a rendering of Psalm 20.

Yahweh (I AM) give answer to you in the pressure of adversity; in him self, the divine ruling judge (God) of Jacob place you safe and far above, out of reach of your adversity!

The past few years have been tough. Don’t get me wrong, there have been good times in them. I mean, what is better than getting married to the woman you love and having a beautiful son together? Not much, let me tell you.

Even with the good though, things have been tough. Right after Sarah and I got married, I was fired from my job. That sort of kicked off a “one bad thing after another” occurring. We have had financial troubles, emotional hurts and hardships, medical issues, room mates flaking on us, family hurts, car repossession…  Through it all, we have had friends and some family that have encouraged us, provided for us, stepped in to help us; we have been loved. Yet, even with all the love we have been given, it feels like life has slowly been piling bad things on our heads, one thing after another after another after another.

I know every one has problems, and I know that it could always be worse (at least we aren’t on fire, am I right!). I also know that some of our problems have been our own fault. I am the first to admit that. But, our problems are ours, and we feel the weight of them. We are in a hard situation. As of right now, my wife and son are in Utah with family while I am in Oregon, we don’t have a permanent place to live, I’m without income, and due to some legality issues, I was unable to move to Utah to be with my family this past weekend.

The flavor of these past few years has been hard, and it just seems to be getting harder.

May he send out help to you from his place of otherness; from his city may he strengthen and give to you support in nourishment! May he recall the tributes and offerings that you have given; may he find pleasure and grow fat from your burnt sacrifice! (wait… think… stay in this)

Yes, life has been –is– hard; yes, the pressure –the weight– feels too much… but still I believe in goodness. I still believe that somehow God brings goodness and help. As I’ve mentioned, we have experienced that good help through the love and resources given to us by friends and family.

Even more than that, there is still good to be found in the midst of the hard weight.

When my son was born… I can’t begin to express the true happiness and unbridled joy I have in him. The nights spent with my wife, talking, hoping, believing that things will not always be this way.

Sometimes, I have a small view of help and rescue. Sometimes I expect that only at the end of everything, only when the perfect comes, will I –we– experience rescue. Sometimes I think it’s only going to be shit until then. How short sighted I am.

I forget how I have seen good show up, how help comes in unexpected ways, how life finds a way… even if it’s just through the cracks in the sidewalk life is nourished and grows. Sometimes Most times I forget that God has not forgotten about me and my family. He hasn’t forgotten that we want to trust, that we have given ourselves into his care because we can’t care for ourselves very well. He hasn’t forgotten that I have served him, that I want to give the best t him (even though I don’t have the best to give).

He remembers.

May God put you in what you desire from your inmost being; may he bring all your whole purposes to fulfillment!

He remembers, but I forget. I forget what I am passionate about. I forget what I care about. I forget the dreams and longings I have.

When I was in my early twenties, people would ask me what I wanted to do with my life. My answer was always, “change the world.” Yes, it is a bit of a grandiose and idealistic statement… but I wanted to do it. I knew I had something to offer that mattered and that would have an effect on people.

Now, I just want to survive.

It is as if all the pressure of hard times and all the struggling to make things work and all the disappointment in life not working have some how squeezed out my dreams, somehow snuffed out the longings I used to have.

I wanted to write books. I wanted to plant Christian communities. I wanted to help people know and deeply love Jesus and love the people around them. I wanted to write poetry, sing new songs (loudly), preach gospel creatively… These days I don’t even sing along to songs on the radio. These days I think far too often, “if only i was like them…” These days…

But deep down, in that hidden corner, in that place where dreams come from… in my innermost self I want to thrive.

I want my family to flourish with generously. I want my wife to know her value, worth, and her skill. I want my son to grow up healthy, whole, and happy. I want to be alive with my family. I want to do those crazy things I used to dream about.

I really do.

The pressure flairs up and I start thinking about money, how it is what makes this world go around and that without it I can’t get buy, let alone thrive. How do I care for my family if I am just chasing some idealistic dream? I lose my keys, forget to pay bills, scramble and pray to find jobs… How can I ever do things great like those dreams? I’m not that important.

I push those dreams aside and get on with existing… I forget.

But God reminds me. Over and over. Maybe the reason nothing has worked out is that I’m not doing, living, being what I was meant to be… maybe I don’t really believe that I am meant to be more than this.

Then all people will cry out, over come  because you have been greatly, victoriously saved; all of us will celebrate because of the the divine ruling judge (God)! Let Yahweh (I AM) place you in everything you ask!

Maybe life is suppose to be different. Maybe life is to be a celebration of the good, a party of grace. Maybe we –I– should expect that we are made for the dreams we have hidden away. We –I– am made to do those crazy, idealistic, burning in my soul kind of things that really make us imagine that we can thrive.

Maybe we were meant to really celebrate seeing the things we are passionate about come into reality and begin to change the world.

Now I know with assurance that Yawheh (I AM) has salvation for his anointed one; he will send out help from his place of heavenly otherness and deliverance, and show his strong arm that can do salvation. Some trust in teams of strong riders and others in the fast horses but we recall and remember Yahweh (I AM) our divine ruling judge. They will be cast down, but we will rise.

“Plan B” is a phrase I have heard allot of lately. Life doesn’t go the way we planed so we get a new plan. Plan B is not a secondary, not “quite the best” attempt at a fix. It’s not a “I guess this could work”.

Plan B is our –my– rise. Our belief that these dreams and passions matter enough to be celebrated. Our belief that we are valuable enough to be given dreams, cares, ideals. Plan B is God’s voice echoing in my soul and mind, “This can be done; you can THRIVE! There is still a way to celebrate your dream come true.”

So, now I remember… I remember God, Jesus, Holy Spirit… how he shows up and does crazy things like turning water to wine, making a sheep herder a king, comforting those who mourn, sharing a table with whores, giving an old man and old woman a baby, loving us screwed up humans with a never-ending-never-giving-up-always-there love…

I will recall… Oh heart, remember…

Give saving deliverance Yahweh (I AM); let the king respond in the day we call.

+Amen+

  • Tom

    After reading this post, I had to leave a comment and let you know that your honesty’s inspiring and courageous. I’m sorry that life’s been so hard. I hope (and pray) that your dreams come true. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • I can’t think of much to say that would not be trite, patronizing, or flattery, but this is absolutely beautiful. I am united with you in prayer. Thank you for sharing.

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