Sometimes people say things that land on you like a ton of bricks. And not the Lego sort. Ok that’s silly. A ton of little lego bricks is still 2000 lbs.
Maybe I should say it’s like a slap or a bucket full of cold water in the face. Whatever. It’s the sort of thing that makes you stop in your tracks and blink a few times before you can move on.
Sometimes I feel like I want to throw up. Or cry. Or both. Then I get angry and want to fire off some sort of “what the hell are you thinking?” response. Or cry some more. Or both.
Tonight I read something that felt that way. It wasn’t a surprise, really. But it still hit me hard. It was like someone was stealing something of great value from me. But not just me- other people I love and care for, whether I’ve met them or not. It was the feeling of seeing my future ripped out of my horizon, leaving a strange blank space… like a sky with no stars, just a black void.
Then the questions start to boil up.
- How is it that people get to make these kinds of grand pronouncements into other peoples’ lives?
- Have you considered the consequences for others who genuinely disagree with you? Or those who agree 85% with you? How are they meant to choose?
- Do you understand how much you devalue others with your actions and words? And do you care?
- What the heck is God up to in bringing me to this point in time in the middle of all this? Have I completely misunderstood what you wanted of me?
I know that some of my reaction has to do with being tired. It’s the end of the semester, and I’m spent. Some has to do with the fact that I have felt so encouraged by other things going on in my world. Great conversations, dreams of new things that could become, opportunities to grow and learn. Not all rainbows and ponies, but at least there were stars in my sky.
I know I can trust God. Gideon, Moses, Jonah, Samuel… remind me that God does speak, albeit not always when and how we’d like. Joseph, Job, Peter, Paul, Mary, Martha, David… all of them remind me that God is faithful. We have hope in the God who turns what was meant for evil to good. God, whose messengers start by saying, “Fear Not”. God, who brought bones to life and raises the dead. Faith, hope and love- they remain when everything else is gone.
So maybe with a good night’s sleep, I will be able to see a little more clearly and respond with more compassion and honesty. Yes.