Giving voice to the fear…

It’s Easter Sunday, probably one of the most joy-filled days in the Christian calendar. After forty days of wandering and a grief-stricken weekend mourning for the loss of the Son, we find ourselves woken up at dawn with the news that even death doesn’t have the final word. Christ lived up to His promise and hope is made manifest…

Yet today, despite an amazing service at HC, I don’t feel it. Instead, I feel the weight of the world (okay, so that might be somewhat melodramatic, but just bear with me) on my shoulders, on my heart. Once I made it home this afternoon, I found myself simply wanting to cry, to mourn, to lament. Seeing an old friend from home struggle with depression hits me hard. Throw in a random stranger from my closest online community who is feeling suicidal and another interaction with a queer person at HC who had questions about possibly pursuing ministry and it’s no wonder that my heart feels weighted down.

Trying one song after another to catalyze a catharsis, I’m still left sitting here with knots in my stomach and tears which won’t surface. I’m faced with the neverending question of just how deep my courage runs. Just how deep is the well from which I’m called to pour into others’ hearts and souls. Simple answer: I don’t know. Right now, it seems incredibly deep but pushing on empty. The challenge with needing to be poured into and invested in is that it means making oneself vulnerable and trusting. When you’re already feeling the pain of your own brokenness, you can’t help but feel like anything that gets poured into you will either ferment and go rancid, or simply leak out of the cracks.

It’s difficult for me to interact with and encounter someone else struggling with depression, especially in a suicidal form, and not take on their pain. Boundaries, you see, are not, nore have they ever really been my strong suit. Try as I might to throw up a shield, some level of their suffering still gets soaked into my psyche. Sure it eases their pain, if only slightly, but it means that I must work harder to tend to my own and see it redeemed and mended.

So on this Easter evening, I can only stop to think about the pain of the Savior, wondering if He suffered some post-traumatic stress after His own ordeal. Questioning how He was able to face the reality of his own humanity, albeit entangled in a web of divinity. All I’m left with are a few short books and my own honest prayers. For now, those will have to suffice…

~ by Michael O. on April 24, 2011.

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