May 12, 2010

A glimpse

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 7:26 pm

Carlos Whittaker posted a blog entry two days ago entitled “I am…” and invited us to finish the sentence. “A daughter” wrote this:

…angry. So very angry. At my father. How dare you climb those stairs? How dare you? How dare you take the glow of life and snuff it out with a rope and a bottle of pills? I loved you so much. And mom. And now I don’t even want to look out the window. I don’t even want to look at your photo. You know what I did? I threw the answering machine last night. I picked it up and just threw it. It broke apart. Like you did to me an mom. Your voice was on that machine, and for some reason it felt so good to destroy it. And now I’m angry at me for being angry at you.
But I am I am so angry and so tired and so sad and so twisted and so cold and so wet. and i don’t know what to do and i can’t even breath anymore and I just don’t understand it at all. I don’t get any of it. I don’t know why. And I miss you so much and it’s all your fault and I just mis you miss you miss you miss you miss you.

After I read those words, I sat in my chair and wept. Why?

Because this daughter offered me a glimpse.

This daughter offered me a glimpse of what my mom would feel like…
of what my sister would feel like…
of what my grandparents would feel like…
of what my children (in the future, of course) would feel like…
if I gave in.

I haven’t given in. I’ve come close–so, so terribly close–but I’ve not given in.

How long?

I ask myself.

How long can I resist? How long can I fight? How long can I fend off the depression that lurks around the corner? How long? How long can I bear to be lonely; to have no one who understands; to have these feelings inside of me? How long until what in the light seems unthinkable not only becomes thinkable again, but actually… happens?

This glimpse gave me my answer.

As long as I have something in this world to attach me–
something to keep me choosing life over death:
fear of causing my loved ones greater sorrow than I now suffer–
I will inevitably endure.


May 8, 2010

Thoughts on death and friendship

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 12:10 am

When peace like a river attendeth my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll: whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well–it is well with my soul.

Though satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blessed assurance control: that Christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul.
It is well–it is well with my soul.

–“It Is Well” verses 1 and 2, by Horatio Spafford

Today, tragedy struck the family of a person whom I once called a close friend. Jared Adams’ younger brother died today in a one-man car wreck on his way from Longview to Texarkana. I have had several thoughts uniquely related to this incident in the hours since I found out.

1) I have lately begun to consider Jared as more of an acquaintance rather than a friend. We have scarcely talked in the past year, and I find it difficult to carry on a conversation with him when they do happen to occur. But today, I realized that he will never be an acquaintance. He will always be an old friend, even if he isn’t someone to whom I am particularly close at this point in time. We have shared life together; we have walked deeply with each other, trusting each other with things that we don’t entrust to many people. And even though that season of our lives has passed, it does not mean that we are no longer friends; it just means that we are old friends, or maybe unacquainted friends (if that makes any sense at all). I still care about him as I once did–that is why I am still so deeply hurt that we are no longer close friends–and I still will come running if he ever calls upon me.

2) It is easy for me to think that I can help Jared in some way since I went through losing my dad. But I must remember: talking to him will not help him; assuring him with words will not help him; anything that appeals in any way to rational thought will not help him. In times of deep emotion like this, trying to rationalize only hurts. There is a time for rationalizing, but that comes later. The only thing that I can do at this point is be there for him. That is all that will help–and even that helps very little.

3) I have dealt with suicidal (/suicidal-type) desires for at least two years now–perhaps more. Even as soon as a week ago: I was talking to Nate H. and he asked what I wanted to do, my answer (though I didn’t actually tell him) was “to die.” Not commit suicide, but die–there is a distinct difference (hence the “/suicidal-type” modifier). I will not commit suicide because I will not put my mom through that. Even whenever Mom ends up dying (which I pray will not be for a very long time), I still won’t do it–at that point, I won’t leave my sister alone. But tonight, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized something: I’m not envious of Jared’s brother. I’m not! With the way I have felt rather consistently for the past two years, I would expect a fairly quick reaction of envy after hearing the news. But I’m not. And that surprises me. A very good surprise–but a surprise, nonetheless. Perhaps… perhaps underneath all the strife, it truly is well within my soul.

May 7, 2010

Chandler on expository preaching

Filed under: Uncategorized — quotable1988 @ 4:39 pm

If you want to talk about the text [in a sermon], that’s great. If you want to tell a story about your cousin Jim, I don’t care. — Matt Chandler

My beef with some preaching *coughantiochcough* is not just topical/exigetical. It’s a combination of that and exhortational/expository. And my thoughts are summed up very well by the above Matt Chandler quote.

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