Sunday, February 28, 2010

Throughout these forty days

So, it's been a while since I've blogged. Life, Lent and other stuff has been going on. Like most of my blogs, I have an idea what I want to say but not sure how it's gonna turn out in the end. I can tell you this one is gonna be a while, so you might want to go grab yourself a cup of tea (or whatever your pleasure) and sit back and enjoy.

I was talking to Dad last night (George's, the best dad E V E R) and in the course of the conversation he mentioned a series of Ingmar Bergman films, a trilogy actually. Through A Glass Darkly, Silence, and Winter Light. The series ask questions about God. Now, in listening to Dad talk about Mr. Bergman's other films, it is apparent to me that his films are not my favorite genre and that's okay. Then as we're talking he mentions that in one of the movies (I forget which one, please forgive me) that they say that the agony that Jesus felt during his crucifixion is not the pain that grieves him so, it is the emotional pain that is more great.
Realizing that Peter, his disciple does in fact, deny him, that through all the time he has spent with Peter and the other disciples, they really don't get him and why he's here. Ever since this conversation, I have been meditating on this thought. Not meat and potatoes meditating, mind you, but more surface meditating. I even was thinking about it during Mass today. And, here's my thoughts so far. So far meaning I'm pretty sure this thought is going to stay with me for a while, it's a powerful thought and I'm sure I'll have more thoughts about it later, lol.

If I had the choice to pick a pain, I think I would pick physical over emotional pain on most days. Physical pain, you can pop a pill and at least it dulls and eventually, you don't notice the dull ache. Emotional pain grips you for what seems like forever and doesn't let go. I'm sure we've all experienced emotional pain, some of us more than others. There are even people out there like me in the respect that they can be over emotional or feel things extremely deeply. This leads to emotional hurts quite often. But I digress. Here's what I've been thinking. Picture Jesus. He knows what's coming. He knows that His friend, one of his best friends, is going to deny Him. He knows why it has to happen, but I'm sure He's still hoping that it won't happen. Then it does. I get hurt, my feelings get hurt, very easily. Too easily. Not that I would ever admit that outside of here (so shhh! lol). I am not Jesus. He's so strong, but imagine His heart. His Divine Heart. How much pain that denial had to have caused him. I get hurt when people don't understand me, understand what I'm trying to do, or to say. It makes perfect sense to me that Jesus would feel the same way at Peter's denial. Then, if that wasn't enough, His friend Judas. In my head, Judas was a friend of Jesus, but not as good a friend as Peter and John were. Again, one of Jesus' friends does this. And, I'm sure Jesus knew that satan had entered into Judas (see Lk 22:3) and that Judas wasn't acting of his own accord. Still that had to hurt. So, imagine all this hurt. The weight of it all. Remember last time I was talking about the depths of despair? I picture it worse than that. All that emotional pain, all that agony and still He climbs, HE CLIMBS on the cross for ME (and you and you and you). I felt awful before when I thought it was just the agony of the pain of the scourging and the crowning of thorns. The whips that drew flesh from His skin. Then, this week, I get an email reminding me of His hurt shoulder (never realized that before), and I felt so saddened, yet so loved that He climbed on the cross. Now, to think of the emotional pain that I never thought of before that just kind of makes the cross He carried that much heavier. Wow. Powerful stuff, huh? I can't stop thinking about it. How He asked for the cup to be passed. How many times do I, do we do that? Lots. But He wanted God's will, not His. Isn't it funny how most of us want God's will for ourselves as long as it aligns with our own? I know I'm that way! lol

These forty days of lent, week one down, has been nothing short of interesting. It takes me a while to realize it, but wow, has satan been trying to get at me (and you I'm sure). In fact, I spoke with my mom at great lengths today. Actually, she spoke, I listened. What!? Yes, I actual stop talking sometimes! lol She had a lot to say and as the conversation was winding down all I could think was how she was so being attack by satan. I didn't tell her this. But, I am praying that he goes away. And, as I did, he snuck the thought into my head that if he was bothering her, he wasn't bothering me. Did I want him back to bother me? And, while I want to say no...I pondered for a while and I think I decided on a yes. Not that I want to go round after round with him. Truly, I don't. But, while my mom is a spiritual person, I have something she does not. Sadly. I have friends. I have friends, gurus, and advisers. I have people to help me fight or to turn and run quickly lol. My mom and others do not have anyone to help them fight. Actually, I think I remember Father Tim saying something about not fighting the devil, so I don't need to fight actually, just realize when I'm being attacked and call on Jesus. That's what you guys can help me with :) So, for those who cannot face satan, who especially through these forty days are going to be attacked, shouldn't we stand up for them? How many times a day am I like Peter? "I love you, Lord, why do you keep asking me?" Then, when He asks me to spend time with Him, I turn away?" My Julie and I like to say that Peter is our big brother. He has helped us through many a trial and many more to come, I'm sure. But, Peter is also the perfect example of humanness. That you can love God with all your heart and still, in our humanness let Him down. But, see the ending of the story is awesome. After Jesus' resurrection, Peter is so remorseful. Not the fake "I'm sorry" but actually, gut wrenching, heart piercing, sorrow. And, Jesus knows. Jesus *knows* and He basically tells Peter to get over it, it happened and now, I've got work for you! Isn't that what He tells all of us? We are sorrowful for our sins, in what we have done and what we have failed to do (I so love that prayer) and God says, 'it's done, it's over, I have work for you.'

It's now week two of Lent. And, if the last week and all this introspection is any indication, He is working major stuff in all of us during the next two weeks. Enjoy the ride. If you are being attacked, just call on Mother Mary and she will come swiftly to your aide (from our church calendar a couple years ago

Until next time,
If you are being attacked, just call on Mother Mary and she will come swiftly to your aide (taken from our church calendar a couple years ago) :)


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hey Carol...

I'm walking. Well. Actually, I don't know if what I'm doing can be considered walking. Y'know how you see those people (mainly the older ones, but some young ones) who have the walkers with the tennis balls on the bottom, and they're in their pj's and slippers and they're sliding/shuffling across the floor? They're pushing the walker and dragging their feet behind them? Yea, that's what I'm doing, only minus the walker and the pj's and the being old thing.

I've been a combination of being in the depths of despair (The Princess Bride) to having a bad case of the mean reds (Breakfast at Tiffany's) and just hiding away lock stock and barrel. So, after four weeks of avoiding God and Bob (dudes, they're one in the same...actually, three in the same that whole Trinity thing lol) and their incessant chatter of 'I'm here", "come", and "HELLOOOOOOOOO, Gina, you can run but you can't hide", I decided it was time to come home.

It started Thursday evening. I went back to the light weigh bible study. I did not want to go. I don't think that stresses it enough...I DID NOT WANT TO GO. In marriage encounter terms, you know the feeling you get when you're going home to visit family, but you really don't want to go b/c there is always family drama, and sure the food is good, and the first five minutes of seeing everyone is good but then you run outta stuff to talk about b/c you don't want to touch the sore subjects and so you dance around the elephants in the room uncomfortable and then someone either has too much to drink or nothing to drink and just likes poking bears (and elephants) and get's the ball rolling and arguments ensue and you look around you and wonder how you came out of this family so sane, relatively speaking? That feeling of dread you get in the car on the way there and the agita you get and all the deep breathing techniques in the world aren't going to help you....yea, that feeling. That's how much I didn't want to go to bible study on Thursday night.

George. George says why go if you don't want too. I tell him I needed too. I so didn't want too, but I knew that if I didn't, I would continue this downward spiral that seems to take hold of me every so often. It's black. It's black and it's cold and it's empty. It's fake smiles and I'm good how are yous? I needed to go. I needed it as a lifeline to pull me out of the lightening sand (I promise you I haven't been watching the Princess Bride, it just seems like it! lol). So, I went out of need.

And I see my Liz (Brier) there. She is so happy to see me and it was lovely seeing her. I explain to her and my Julia (Evans) how while I am glad to be there, I am not ready to be there. Not spiritually anyways. They understand and am just glad that I am there. The whole evening (it started with the drive there) I wanted to run. On the way there, I got a headache. Dude, I live SEVEN minutes away and halfway there I got a headache, but instead of turning around and going home, I popped some advil and went. Then, during the meeting, I kept having a fight or flight response. I stayed glued to my seat. It was hard, but I just figured it was the devil at work. Dude, why he bothers with me, I'll never know. Probably b/c I am such a challenge? I told him in no uncertain terms years ago that no matter what he does, he's never getting my soul. See, I know something that he doesn't. I know, I know for a fact, deep in my soul, that no matter what I do, no matter what I say, God loves me. He forgives me, b/c I am human and that gives me the freedom to learn and grow and make mistakes (lots of them). I know that God knows my heart, even when I make bad decisions. So the devil keeps trying to attack me and I keep trying to ignore him. So, this is why I stayed glued to my seat.

Then, Friday rolled around. I shuffled even more. I went to noon mass. And, as much as I like to joke with the kids, the holy water didn't burn when I put it on. And, Father Tim's homily was just for me. It was about being normal or as normal as we can be. Then, a friend from Cheddar's called and we had lunch at my beloved Cheddar's. I got to see some of my former co workers/friends that I haven't seen in a while, and the cool part was two people in particular, my Will and my Mary Lou. They gave me hugs, really tight big 'I've missed you' hugs. Not the pat on the back obligatory hugs. It was great. I felt very loved. It was a beautiful, beautiful day.

So, I made a list. A lenten list of things I'd like to change, add, remove during the coming lenten season. Y'know, can't put new wine in old wine skins thing. Me, I say forget the wine, just have a beer, but somehow, I don't think that's the point of the parable. I'm going to try to impliment the changes. While I'd like all to work, I know me, and my ocd/adhd/control freak self. I figure, I'll take the spaghetti approach. I'll throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.

So, I'm not exactly walking, but you gotta learn to crawl before you can walk. And, while I know how to walk and always stop, I look at it like I keep having to go back to rehab/physical therapy and learn how to walk all over again. So, these last two days, I'm moving my legs and shuffling. Not too bad a start.

Until next time,
What are you giving up for lent?