Monday, April 8, 2013

Cameos Amid the Big Picture...

   Sunday night blog...published on a Monday morning
   Today has been kind of a down day - they come sometimes.  And I don't always know why.
     As I was crying into the clean laundry tonight - don't worry - it was just a sock that I was blowing my nose on, not a sheet, and the sock went right back into the dirty laundry basket so you won't see me wearing it any time soon - I wasn't even really sure why I was so down, why I was crying.
    Yes, last week had a lot of little stresses that sort of had a cumulative effect. And yes, I haven't felt 100% today.  Growing old is not for wimps, that's for sure.
    But it wasn't until my husband gently suggested that I might want to  put away the sock tonight, get a roll of toilet paper to cry into (I need to buy Kleenex...), and then tell him what was going on, that I began to process exactly what was going on.  It took a while.
    Blogging is easy; living it is not so easy.
    Blogging can be deceptive as most anything in print can be.  You see a life event spilled out on paper and that cameo shot in time becomes fixed in your mind as to how the person really is.  And really, I think the mind prefers human "cameo shots".  For example, the little kid next door moves away and then thirty years later, when you realize the six foot guy standing in front of you is little Johnny who used to tear up your flower beds, your mind can hardly process it. The last time you saw Little Johnny, he was six years old and that is how your mind has freeze framed him - as  a little scrawny kid.
   I think blogs are like that too.
   So the whole picture  is that these past two weeks have been a bit of a  roller coaster for me -up one day and down the next even though my blog has been pretty "steady on".  By this I mean that I can write passionately about two women who were willing to sit in prison in Iran for 259 days in Evin prison and truly be inspired by their story.  And the next day I can be crying into the clean laundry because of leaky kitchen drains (it's okay - it's fixed now!), messy circumstances (it's okay - it's just life, nothing extraordinary), and, I have to admit, playing "footsie" too much with the "what if's" of the world.  Plus feeling a little under the weather, yada, yada, yada and voila!  There you have it - passionately blogging about heroic deeds of my sisters (and there are many!) in the faith one day and crying into a clean sock the next day for no reason.
    Such is life around here :)  Thankfully, my guys have learned how to roll with it...
    At any rate, it wasn't until I had cried my way through 1/4th of a roll of tissue paper and Phil had gently reminded me of the goodness of God in various ways, that I  suddenly knew why I was really stressed.  It wasn't the sink, the dog, the sinus stuff, my husband's  job,  the upcoming dentist appointment - although I'm sure each was a contributing factor.  But it wasn't those.
    It was the news of Pastor Warren's son committing suicide.
    When that hit me, I thought, "Really? How can that be?"  I mean, aside from reading his book, The Purpose Driven Life, I really know nothing about him, his wife, or his ministry, let alone his family. I didn't even know where his church was located or even if he had children or not.
   So I had to wonder:  why am I sitting in my bedroom at nearly midnight, sobbing into a clean sock (I'm going to buy tissues!) over someone I don't even know?
   And the answer came:   because it's not supposed to end this way...
   A Godly couple who have influenced thousands of people to follow Christ... it just shouldn't happen to them this way.  Their youngest son shouldn't commit suicide in spite of anything and everything that has been done to help him.
  The next thing that popped into my mind was:  and yet, this isn't the end...
   From all accounts, this young man suffered his entire life from mental illness and I've seen that type of situation up close in my own family.  Like any other part of the body, the brain can malfunction and it's not always an emotional thing.  Many times it is physical and the meds available are not always effective in resolving chemical imbalances within the mind.   If the brain glitches in a moment of time and a person takes his own life, that doesn't erase a lifetime of knowing God, of serving and loving others.  (If you think suicide sends a person to hell, consider the fact that there are less obvious, more subtle ways of killing oneself - chain smoking when depressed being one.)  And if we can have compassion on someone suffering from mental illness, how much more can God have compassion?
   So I repeat....this is not the end...
   But the thing is: it looks like the end.
   So many times in life, we come up against corners that look like solid brick walls, detours that look like dead ends, yield signs that masquerade as stop signs.
   This was a tough one and my heart goes out to the Warren family.
    But it's not the end.
    For Matthew, it is a new beginning.
    For his family, it is a time of brokenness and anguish ... but it's not the end.
    For both Matthew and his family, there is a tomorrow... and we need to pray for his family as they "pass through" this difficult experience.
    For Matthew, finally, after almost three decades of struggling, he no longer needs prayers. He is whole and well and safe.
   And simply put... this is not the end.

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