It seems like most of my posts this year have been on the blue side and I don't mean the font color. It has been a blue year for so many of those I care about. While our immediate family has been spared from many things, others around us are struggling with unemployment, grief over death that came way too early (neighbor, young boy I've followed on Caringbridge, and husband of friend), anger, and hurt of all kinds. I find myself hurting for others daily.
Today, I went to the Y and hopped on the elliptical trainer. I found myself peddling away at more than 180 strides per minute. I've never gone that fast before. The faster I went, the more the tears came. I managed to not embarrass myself or those around me - you can make grief look like intensity of work out if needed. I was listening to Girls of Grace, but not really hearing the words.
Then just in time for cool down the words were In the calm of your presence, I am listening Lord. Only I wasn't listening. I was ranting. I was more than a little ticked at God, and I definitely was not in the mood to listen. Now, I in no way think God caused all this pain, but I need someone to be mad at and God is mighty handy. Also, it's not as hard on my marriage or other relationships when I take my anger out on God rather than those around me. God is tough. God can take it.
Several years ago, I was lamenting to a friend that manBoy then mostly just boy, could be so polite with everyone else and vent his anger on me. She pointed out that meant I was safe. manBoy trusted that I would still love him even when he was less than polite and needed a place to spill his frustrations. Well I'm counting on that being true with God. I'm trusting God to love me even when I vent.
Truth is, I don't want to be calm and listen right now. I just want to rant a little, and I wouldn't mind if someone would give me a hug now and then. While none of this pain is mine personally, it is in a way. I hurt for my friend who is trying to figure out how to live without her life partner, father of her children, and provider of a hefty chunk of their income while remaining faithful to her call. I hurt for another friend who is in pain I can't imagine and have no words to comfort her with. I hurt for a family that inspite of their emotional and spiritual health are finding the loss of Little D has left a great hole in their hearts and lives.
I have a message of hope mulling in my head that will be delivered at Blue Christmas Service. I'm sure I will be preaching to the preacher.
There are good things happening in our lives. I will post about them soon. We continue to be proud of manBoy and all he has grown to be. Yesterday marked 17 years since he came into our family and we have been blessed by every minute of it.
If you are still there, thanks for "listening." Letting this all spill out helps.
Lord, open my eyes and heart to your presence in all this pain. Let me see the blessings you bring in the midst of it all. Show me hope. Amen.