Monday, 30 April 2012

Dear Nice Person......

Dear nice friendly person:

No, I don't feel fine. Thankyou for saying I am looking really well. I know that you are only trying to be kind and upbuilding. Unfortunately it reminds me of the fact that even when I feel sick people think I'm doing well, and therefore I must be putting it on.I know this is not the case, but I think it anyway.
I am sorry, nice friendly person, that I am not talking much back to you. It is kind of you to ask me all about things I am up to in my life and work but I am using my last bit of energy to breathe at the moment. I am not being rude to you, I would love to talk more, and feel so awful that I must be giving the impression of someone totally disinterested and ungrateful. Inside I feel sad. But I cannot form the words, today they are too tiring. Please read the Spoon Theory - you may get a glimpse of how it is. For now though, I wish I could say this to you. Be honest. But I smile, say I'm fine, and attempt to eke out a few words in response to your kindness. I then go, leaving you feeling like I'm pretty unfriendly. I am sorry. If you got to know me, you'd realise I'm quite nice really.

Dear lovely friend:

I'm sorry I couldn't hold a coherent conversation with you on the phone. I love chatting with you but worry you must think I don't want to be bothered with you, can't wait to get off the phone. I'm sorry. My pain is making it difficult to talk and draining energy for chat, and the drugs addle me somewhat. I'd love to have a good long girlie chat, but today I cannot. It's not you, it's me, and all that.

Dear Daughter and Daughter's friends:

I'm delighted you are having fun together today. I would love to be up and about making cakes for you and giving you drinks and making you feel welcome and at home. I am so sorry I'm huddled on the sofa under a blanket looking pretty rank. I worry about your impressions of me. I shouldn't. I wish, DD, that I could be a better Mum for you.

Dear Son:

I'd love to play games with you all day. I wonder if you think I don't care very much about you sometimes, when you've asked me and I've yet again said no. And when you've asked me for a story and I've said not tonight. Tonight I just haven't got the breath, DS. I love you so much and wish I could do more for you and with you. I'll read that story soon.

Dear Random Stranger:

Please don't ask me what I do, or suggest what I could do. OK? Thanks. :)

Dear Adventure Bloke:

I am so grateful I never have to pretend with you, or apologise for being ill. Not that I'd get away with such antics.

Dear God:

Thanks that you know all these things and all these thoughts and all these feelings. And I never have to pretend with you. And I know you're always with me.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday. Yes it is.

So we went along to an Hour before the Cross service earlier on which Adventure Bloke was leading. In between keeping the Adventurous Pair separate and relieving Adventure Boy of a smuggled in Pick Up Stick (you'd be amazed how much creativity one eight year old can achieve with one Pick up Stick) I found something resonating deep in my spirit.

I've not been finding much of that kind of resonation (is that a word?) of late. It's all been a bit...meh. I'm not sure why, but I've been somewhat lethargic in prayer and in belief in general, despite trying. Sometimes we just have to keep taking one step after another, despite things not seeming to happen, and that's what it's been like. I could ponder for a while on why we have seasons like this, which are in all honesty fairly rubbish, but I won't, because I simply want to rejoice at the wonder that is Good Friday and let my spirit a bit free again. It's Nice.

When Adventure Bloke was reading the reflections some words struck me as being so profound. Talking about the moment Jesus died, he referred to this moment not being all beautiful and glorious, but being steeped with misery, loneliness and isolation, of being forsaken by his Father. Things didn't suddenly get wonderful. Not only had Jesus taken every sin, every sadness, every bit of man's inhumanity to man, every tear, every loneliness, every call in the dark upon himself, but on top of this was faced with a sudden and utter desolation, that of separation from God. I suppose this is why we can know God is indeed in this mess with us. Jesus actually knows. He did it all and he knows. He isn't standing by someone's hospital bed saying in cliched manner 'I really know how you feel', because he actually does know. And in a deeper way than anyone else possibly can. This is part of the mystery of his death.

It amazes me and has floored me anew today. I have times when I feel God has departed and wonder where he has gone, especially in times of acute physical illness, but Jesus actually experienced God really departing. We'll never experience that, God will always be with us - even when we don't feel it. Our faith is in God as present with us. We have an amazing hope.

So I think Good Friday was and is pretty good really. I think God did something about the suffering in the world and continues too. I think God suffered in a totally inexplicable and profound way we can only begin to glimpse. But those glimpses give us something to hold on to, to hope, to keep taking those steps.

And I can't wait for Sunday.