Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Open Letter to My Friends and Family

Dear Friend, Child, Family Member,

I want to tell you I’m sorry for what I said: all of it, all of the times. I don’t say the right things. I blurt things out before I think about it. Mostly, I tend to hurt people’s feelings. I tend to get my feelings hurt easily, so you would think that I would have a pretty good idea of what might hurt. 

You would think that, wouldn’t you?

I think that part of a person that knows what to say and when to say it is broken in me. I can think of times I have said the wrong  things, years ago, and I still have this sinking feeling in my stomach. There are people who are gone from my life and people gone from this earth and I can never make it right with them.

How can I make it right with you? The only thing I know to do is apologize.
The only problem is that I know I will end up doing it again. I will say the wrong things or fail to say something I should. Then I will end up making a fool of myself- AGAIN. I don’t mind being fool, but if I hurt someone by my foolishness- I mind.

This endless cycle of foolishness is why, many times, I stay away from people.  It is also why I have an abundance of former friends. I don’t know how to make things right when they go wrong. 

And things go wrong, don’t they?

It’s also why I refuse to make new friends. I feel bad rejecting people I have just met but I am trying to protect them from me. I’m doing it for their own good.

So I am left with those friends and family who I most deeply want to keep. I try to engage… re-engage. I try not to avoid you. It is my goal to be a good friend, despite my flaws.  I want to crawl in a hole and yet I want to be in the light.

When I shut the door and don’t answer the phone, don’t take it personally. I WANT to talk to you. I want to love you. I’m just not very good at it. It takes a lot of nerve. It takes a good bit of bravery, for me to be your friend. What with my awkwardness and all.

Sometimes people say things that hurt me and I don’t know how to tell them. I don’t know IF I should tell them. So I understand if you don’t want to discuss it. I’m trying to take this chance to be open with you.

You don’t have to respond to this. You don’t have to continue to be my friend. All I hope for is amiable cordiality among the people I see. I don’t presume this is as big a deal to you as it is to me.

Just understand that when you see me engaged in life, with people, that it takes a good deal of courage for me to be there. I’m not asking you to pity me.  I’m just asking you to realize that it goes against all inside me that screams for me to withdraw from society at large.

Above all else, please forgive my fumbling ways. Forgive the things that I say. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rag-Tag Bunch of Fearful Cynics

Aren’t we a rag-tag band of fellows? All we want is to seek holiness and yet fear and cynicism keeps creeping in at the edges. 
Fear trips us all up
One fears the curse of mental illness has finally gripped her mind.
One fears her husband loves his bank account more than her.
Another runs away fast against alcoholism.
We all fear that fate would deal our children the blow of the things we fear most.
We all respond to fear in different ways.
Some seek the answers in books
Some try to find health and wealth at the gym
Others remove foods, add foods, vitamins… anything that will soothe the gnawing ache in our soul
We all want to just take a pill to fix it (from time to time.)
One rages against “the system” … were we to find and promote the right leaders, would we be saved?

I curl up tight in bed…(a caterpillar trying the best defensive position.)

The world rages
The church is polluted
Believers crumble
People compromise
We ignore our children
People die…
We groan
We wail
I wail
I do beat my fist against the sky
Hope is crushed
Hope, so crucial
We shy away from hands that would help..
hands that would comfort
They have tried to stone us before
We recoil, lest we be judged
God judges me
I cannot stand for you to judge me too
His eyes, they burn into me
Burn into my soul
I have reached for hands that would help me out of this pit
The world, it sticks to me
I press into God and yet the stench of the world remains
Those hands, the ones who also seek holiness
They only throw dirt upon my despair
And yet, I fight on… press on

God is my portion, my deliverer
I want to finish well
I want to finish strong
Even if I am carried at the end
Are we not all carried at the end?
I want to leave a legacy of surrender 
God I surrender to you and you alone