Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Help my unbelief

Yesterday I sort of went off the deep end. I'm still waiting to surface. I hate it when this happens. When I lose control; go into a fit of rage; and am then just completely cashed for rest of the night. Often a good nights sleep will suffice to set things aright. A brisk walk or run doesn't hurt. Apparently not this time.

I'd had a great Sunday. It seems I usually do. My Monday started off well too. I don't really even remember what caused the wheels to fall off. Yes, there was the jerk customer. And work continues to be a chore to deal with. But those things aren't really the problem.

The times this happens it reminds me of a very bad place I used to be. I have vague memories but I can't see it. I don't know if it's because I've blocked it out or if it's just my 'magination. But I know it's a place I don't want to go, and sometimes it scares me when I near it. It makes me think there's no coming back. It comes with a hopeless and helpless feeling that in my mind seems like drowning must be, or being caught in a house-fire engulfed by flames. It hurts but there's no pain... or something like that.

Anyway, someone shared the story Sunday about the time Peter walked on water. Then he looked at the waves and started to sink. The idea was that as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he was able to rise above. So I thought about that this morning - keeping my eyes on Jesus. It occurred to me... I'm not really sure how that works. I don't know that I KNOW what Jesus looks like. Have I ever seen him before? Would I know him if I saw him? What exactly does he look like? How does anyone know???

The church is a nice idea, I suppose. But it's a really fucked up thing as far as I can tell. I don't understand it. I don't know if I ever have, or if anyone ever has, for that matter. I've believed in it before; I like the idea of it; I even like it most of the time just the way it is. So why can't I see Jesus? Why can't I know what to do? Why can't I control my temper when work sucks and it's hot and there's road construction all over the goddamn place and I drive home from work almost wishing I had a gun so I could shoot the idiot traffic that gets in my way and.... then I start to sink. I hate when the numbness sets in and my head goes dark. The eyes begin to hollow and I can't tell if I'm awake or not. "Come to me all who are weary..." Where? How? Who said that?

I debated whether to even come to work this morning... or ever again. Of course, when I arrived, the AC has apparently went out and it was 85F inside my office. I called the repairman, went to the bank, dinked around outside, but it's really hot and muggy. So I'm sitting here with the doors and windows open, sweating, and pretty much staring at the corkboard on the back side of the counter. I don't care. I don't think I CAN care. And my mind wanders to the title of a friends blog: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief." It's in the bible somewhere. There's a nice story that goes along with it.

After a pause of... nothingness... I am reminded of this story in Frost & Hirsch's book 'ReJesus.' They are describing an imaginary meeting between Peter and Paul. Old friends road-weary and worn from ministry and disappointment. They meet in a restaurant and on p. 193 is this:
And so it goes. Two tired men sharing back and forth, recounting stories of new cells in Asia Minor, new converts in Europe, new developments in Greece.

Finally Paul says, "Peter, I'm not sure when I'll see you again..."

"You say that every time we get together."

"I know, and it's always true. But in case our paths never cross again, can you tell me about him one more time."

Peter smiles sadly, "Oh, Paul, you've heard me tell you those stories a million times. You tell them yourself better than I do."

Paul leans forward toward his friend, "Comrade, I've been beaten, abandoned, betrayed, shipwrecked, and left for dead. It's hard to think of a cell I've planted that isn't in the grip of some crisis, personal or doctrinal. I'm not well. I'm often hungry. And, well, according to some of my friends, I look like an old man. The revolution is unfolding, slowly but surely. Ah, the things we've seen. But at times it feels arduous. I long for the Lord as the watchman longs for the end of night. And there are times when I wonder whether these small, struggling cells we're planting will become the movement we dreamed of. Yes, I do wonder. Even after all I've seen and done. All we've seen and done..."

Then he fixes his eyes firmly on Peter's and says, pleading, "Tell me again."